Over the past four seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees, free-agent third baseman Todd Frazier has averaged just under 33 home runs per year, which should make him a desirable target within a market that contains teams that are in serious need of a third baseman.
But a little less than five weeks out before pitchers and catchers start reporting to spring training and Frazier, one of the best power-hitting third basemen in Major League Baseball, remains unsigned.
Frazier saw a dream realized last season when he was traded from the White Sox to Yankees — his boyhood team — in July, helping the Bronx Bombers reach the ALCS in a year they were expected to rebuild. In a season in which he hit 27 home runs, 11 of them came in 66 games in pinstripes.
The Yankees though haven’t seemed entirely too keen on bringing Frazier back despite trading Chase Headley. Some of that could have to do with their rumored interest in trading for Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado. But that doesn’t mean there has been no contact between the two sides.
“We’ve had contact with the Yankees. My agent, Brodie [Van Wagenen], has done a great job,” Frazier told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. “I love playing for the Yankees. It was such a fun time for me. We just came up short. We had a really good squad, and they are going to be really good again.”
But the Toms River, NJ native is also getting some attention from the other local team, the Mets, as he told Kernan.
“That’s another team we’ve had contact with,” Frazier said. “The communications we’ve had with them has been great.”
He was quick to add that there have been multiple teams, not just the Mets and Yankees, who have inquired about his services.
The Mets have an obvious need for an upgrade at third base. With David Wright’s career derailed by debilitating injuries, Asdrubal Cabrera, a natural shortstop ripped from his position upon the arrival of top prospect Amed Rosario last year, is the team’s best option at the position. At second base, Gavin Cecchini, who has done little to impress at the major-league level in short stints, is the team’s top option alongside Wilmer Flores at second. With Dominic Smith at first, that kind of infield will not be enough to compete in the National League East.
But adding Frazier at third would allow Cabrera to be the team’s everyday starter at second, allowing Flores to be a utility man that can be featured in lineups against left-handed pitching.