Posted on February 5, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
The New York Mets have finally landed the infielder they’ve sought all offseason. Monday night, the Mets agreed to a two-year deal with third baseman Todd Frazier worth $17 million. For Frazier, the move means moving across town after he finished the 2017 season with the New York Yankees. For the Mets, Frazier solves the problem of the open spot in their infield while also adding a veteran hitter to their lineup.
Frazier isn’t exactly coming off the best season of his career. In 2017, he hit just .207 in 81 games with the White Sox. However, he started to pick things up after he was traded to the Yankees in mid July. In 66 games with the Yankees, Frazier hit .222 with 11 home runs, posting an OPS of .788. On the season, he hit a career-low .213. However, his 27 home runs and .772 OPS were more than respectable.
At the start of the offseason, Frazier appeared likely to land a three-year deal worth $10-12 million per season. However, a slow free agent market and little need for a third baseman throughout the league hurt Frazier. Nevertheless, Frazier was able to land a multi-year deal and guarantee himself an everyday job.
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Frazier is just a few years removed from back-to-back all-star appearances in 2014 and 2015 while with the Reds. During those seasons, he was able to hit for both average and power. If nothing else, the Mets should be able to expect a considerable amount of power from Frazier. Over the last four seasons, he has averaged 33 home runs per season.
The 31-year old Frazier is likely to be the team’s everyday third baseman. The fact that the Mets signed a third baseman means they don’t have high hopes for David Wright contributing in 2018. Wright has no intention of retiring right now and is hopeful that he can play this season in some capacity. But there’s no way the Mets can count on him playing this season, creating the need for a player like Frazier.
Even if Wright is able to play this season, he will only be able to play part time. On days Wright plays, the Mets could theoretically push Frazier to first base in place of either Adrian Gonzalez or Dominic Smith. Frazier has 82 career starts at first base, so he has some experience at the position.
With Frazier on board, it will push Asdrubal Cabrera to second base full time. Cabrera could have played either second or third base this season. But he has stated he would be more comfortable at second base, which makes the signing of Frazier a sound choice. That leaves both Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes to play utility roles, giving the Mets a considerable amount of infield depth.
The signing of Frazier figures to be the last major move the Mets make this offseason. He solidifies the team’s infield and gives the Mets another power source in the middle of the lineup. He will serve as a complement to the likes of Yoenis Cespdes, Michael Conforto, and Jay Bruce. Frazier may not be an all-star, but he should provide the Mets with steady and reliable production at the hot corner, not to mention another veteran leader in the locker room. At a price of $17 million over two years, Frazier could end up being a great addition for the Mets.