This Week in the Mets Offseason: Making Sense of Todd Frazier

Earlier this week it was reported by The Athletics Ken Rosenthal that the New York Mets had come to terms on a deal with Todd Frazier for 2 years and 17 million.

This deal officially solidifies the New York Mets Opening Day lineup and the deal was cheap enough for the Mets to keep looking for a starting pitcher to solidify their rotation. With Frazier, the Mets Opening Day lineup will look something like this if there are no injuries.

  1. CF Lagares/Nimmo
  2. 2B Cabrera
  3. LF Cespedes
  4. RF Bruce
  5. 3B Frazier
  6. 1B Gonzalez
  7. C d’Arnaud/Plawecki
  8. SS Rosario
  9. Pitcher

The addition of Frazier has its flaws but there are positives as well.

A positive thing that comes from the deal with Todd Frazier includes his defense, Frazier will bring a solid glove at the hot corner to the Mets for the first time since David Wright was diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis.

He will also help the clubhouse as he is known as a leader throughout the league. Frazier is a guy with a lot of pop in his bat and he can hit 30+ home runs. This past season he also improved his walk rate which was a big factor in the Mets decision to sign him.

Frazier is a hometown kid that definitely makes the Mets better but he is not all sunshine and rainbows, he has some legitimate flaws that may be more apparent in his age 32 season. Not to mention half of the Mets fan base, myself included, would have preferred the Mets to sign Eduardo Nunez.

When you look at Todd Frazier’s stats you see he is rated positively defensively, he hits for power, and last year he adjusted his approach at the plate to take more walks. Unfortunately, like all players, he has weaknesses and to me, the bad outweighs the good.

This past season Frazier hit for a career-low average of .213 between the White Sox and Yankees, which somehow was worse than his 2016 season where he hit just .225. This is a scary trend considering Frazier isn’t just a kid anymore he is 32.

Some make the argument that his OBP which reached .365 last year outweighs that poor batting average but that simply makes no sense. Frazier is supposed to be a guy in the middle of the order that drives in runs so that means he’s supposed to be HITTING THE BALL, batting .213 simply is not good enough.

On top of his inability to hit for a decent average is the negative effect he has on the lineup.  He hurts the lineup because he is a middle of the order hitter and not a leadoff guy. Unless Rosario proves himself early in the season the Mets best leadoff hitter is also their best overall hitter, Michael Conforto.

Conforto’s bat is best used in the middle of the order but due to the lack of speed and high OBP guys the Mets have he will have to leadoff when he returns. Conforto won’t be back until May at the earliest so they will have to deal with Lagares and Nimmo leading off. In my opinion, the Mets would have been better suited to sign Eduardo Nunez.

Nunez is not a high OBP guy nor does he bring a great glove, what he does have in his repertoire is a solid bat that has improved the past few seasons. He is a .290 hitter that will have an OBP between .320 and .330. He also would bring speed an athleticism to a team that only has one really fast guy in Amed Rosario.

Nunez was not a perfect fit because he is not a solid defender and he does not follow the team’s philosophy (which hasn’t worked) of high OBP and power.

People around the game and supposedly even in the Mets Front Office were split between Todd Frazier and Eduardo Nunez. In the end, the deal for Frazier was so good it was the right move for the Mets to make.

Frazier comes with a mixed bag of pros and cons but as I said earlier his 2-year 17 million dollar deal will keep the Mets in position monetarily to still afford a starting pitcher to solidify their rotation. Yes, the Mets have an abundance of starters but they are unproven and have a lot of question marks that come along with them as I mentioned last week.

The Mets have had a solid offseason to this point but they need to bring in a guy like Jason Vargas, Andrew Cashner, or if they can, Lance Lynn. Bringing in one of those guys would allow the Mets to honestly say they won the offseason and Met fans would have to agree with that narrative even if they don’t like all of their moves.

To this point, the Mets have signed Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Anthony Swarzak, Adrian Gonzalez, and now Todd Frazier. They have filled all of the major holes that they outlined in the beginning of the offseason besides one, a starting pitcher.

I do think the Mets will bring in an accomplished starter but not until next week when pitchers and catchers report because that will lower the already depressed market even more and allow the Mets to get yet another bargain.

Right now the Mets Opening Day payroll will be 145 million, 10 million less than last year so we’ll see how much they are willing to spend considering it has been well documented that the Mets owners want to lower payroll from last year.

Time will tell who the Mets get and what they spend if they choose to make that move.



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