The Cubs announced a series of roster moves to reporters, including Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic. Lefty Wade Miley, catcher Yan Gomes and infielder Jonathan Villar have all been reinstated from the injured list, while righty Chris Martin has been reinstated from the restricted list, which he joined after being on the bereavement list beyond the seven-day minimum. To make room for those four players, righty Marcus Stroman was placed on the 15-day IL with shoulder inflammation, first baseman/outfielder Alfonso Rivas and righty Michael Rucker have been optioned, while outfielder Clint Frazier has been designated for assignment. The DFA of Frazier opens a spot on both the active and 40-man rosters for Martin.
Selected fifth overall by Cleveland in the 2013 draft, Frazier was a highly-touted prospect as he rose through the minors, eventually headlining the Yankees’ return when they traded Andrew Miller at the 2016 deadline. Frazier showed plenty of signs of his potential while wearing pinstripes, especially in 2020. During that pandemic-shortened season, he played 39 games and hit a tremendous .267/.394/.511 for a wRC+ of 149. Unfortunately, he underwent a miserable 2021 campaign where he hit just .186/.317/.317, 82 wRC+, and didn’t play after July due to vertigo-like symptoms.
After the season, the Yankees designated him for assignment, with Frazier then signing with the Cubs. The one-year contract came with a $1.5MM base salary and $1MM of incentives, though the Cubs would also be able to keep him around for another couple of seasons through arbitration. However, it now seems they are moving on after just a couple of months.
Frazier missed some time this year due to appendicitis and has only gotten into 19 games on the year so far. In that time, he’s hit .216/.356/.297. That unbalanced line is thanks to a 15.6% walk rate but no home runs on the year. All told, that adds up to a wRC+ of 95, which is 5% below league average but hardly disastrous. Given that he’s still just 27 years old and comes with prospect pedigree and a track record of some MLB success, he’s sure to find another opportunity elsewhere. The Cubs will have a week to work out a trade or put him on waivers.