The first blush reaction to the Yankees' trade for slugger Edwin Encarnacion was that it felt like the first move in a trade to upgrade the rotation by moving Clint Frazier -- but that is not the case, according to major league sources.
With this deal, the Yanks simply saw an opportunity to upgrade their offense, courtesy of Seattle's sell-off. They traded for Encarnacion without having any other deals lined up. It was simply an isolated opportunity that arose, and they seized it.
Logically, the trade would appear to make Frazier expendable. He is a supremely talented hitter, but unpopular in the clubhouse and a defensive liability who will become irrelevant to the current lineup once Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton return. Encarnacion's arrival will clog up the DH position, too.
But the Yankees plan to be very careful and deliberate in considering whether to move Frazier, who is young and controllable. It is not that front office's style to dump players based on the emotions of a particular week or month.