This is going to be fun.

The Yankees are the Damn Yankees again.

For weeks there was speculation that White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier and maybe even reliever David Robertson would be traded to the Red Sox.

They got traded Tuesday night … to the Yankees. New York also picked up reliever Tommy Kahnle to give Boston’s nemesis a super bullpen.

How will Boston respond?

Grabbing Frazier, Robertson and Kahnle may not have the same impact as the Yankees outbidding or “outtrading” Boston in higher-profile deals. Remember Jose Contreras in 2003, Alex Rodriguez in 2004 and Carl Pavano in 2005? Do you also remember that none of those deals worked out, except for A-Rod helping win the 2009 title?

How did New York beat out Boston this time? It’s simple. New York has more prospects and could deal from its surplus – outfielders Blake Rutherford and Tito Polo, and pitcher Ian Clarkin.

The Yankees gave away Rutherford, 20, their first-round draft pick last year (18th overall), who received a $3.3 million signing bonus. Rutherford has potential but is only in low Class A, hitting .281/.777 with two home runs.

New York has a few outfielders for the future – rookie Aaron Judge, recently promoted prospect Clint Frazier and Dustin Fowler (out with a knee injury) are a solid foundation. Plus the Yankees never shy away from splashy free agents (a guy named Harper may be available after 2018).

Clarkin, 22, was a first-round pick in 2013 but has missed the last 1½ seasons with an injury. He’s in high Class A (2.62 ERA). He wasn’t considered a top prospect. Neither was Polo, 22. He was hitting .289 in high Class A and was promoted to Double-A two weeks ago.

Who did the White Sox want from Boston? According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, it would take top pitching prospect Jason Groome and third-base prospect Michael Chavis to get Frazier and Robertson.

That’s crazy talk.

Boston can’t afford to send top prospects for a two-month rental (Frazier) and a reliever under control through 2018 (Robertson).

The Red Sox system is thinner than New York’s. The Yankees were trading for prospects last year (quasi-rebuilding after not reaching the playoffs three of the last four years, and the one time resulting in a wild- card game loss), while Dave Dombrowski of Boston was trading prospects.

Want to complain that the Red Sox no longer have elite prospects Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech and Manuel Margot, along with five others whom Dombrowski dealt away in only two trades?

Without those deals, Boston doesn’t have Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel.

The three players Cashman grabbed Tuesday certainly will help New York, but Dombrowski has at least one or two moves to make to tweak his first-place team.

Third base and the bullpen could use a boost.

For third base, the temptation is to call up Rafael Devers, 20, who dominated in Portland and already is raking at Triple-A Pawtucket (.421/1.266, two home runs in five games). Devers should get a call-up in August, but he’s only as part of the solution. He certainly could lend some power, but Dombrowski has said he doesn’t want to put the pressure of a pennant race on the back of a 20-year-old.

Of available third baseman, Eduardo Nunez of the Giants, 30, may make the most sense, and reports say Boston is interested. Nunez, in the final year of his contract, isn’t a power guy (four home runs), but does bat .295. He plays several positions but mainly third (six errors in 43 games).

Nunez hits right-handers and left-handers equally, but could still platoon with Devers, easing the kid in. That way, everything doesn’t rely on Devers.

Another speculated option has been Jed Lowrie of Oakland (and originally, Boston). Lowrie, 33, is hitting .267/.780 with 10 home runs. He hasn’t played third base since 2015 but is capable. A switch hitter, Lowrie is much better left-handed (.812 OPS/nine homers) than batting right (.650/one). A platoon with Devers wouldn’t work as much. Plus there’s the concern of injury. Lowrie has played over 100 games in only two seasons.

For the bullpen, a lot of arms are still available, depending on the price. Phillies right-hander and pending free agent Pat Neshek remains an obvious target. Other names being tossed about: right-hander David Phelps (Marlins), and left-handers Justin Wilson (Tigers) and Brad Hand (Padres). Hand, an All-Star, isn’t a free agent until 2020. He won’t be cheap.

Dombrowski has a good team now. He’s put on the poker face, acting as if a deal doesn’t have to be made. But now that the Pinstripes are back in contention – and obviously mean business – look for Boston to deal.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.