On Sunday, MMO’s John Jackson wrote an article about how the free agent market has been slow to develop. A lot of the players that have signed are pitchers, meaning there are a lot of position players still out there.
“It’s been no secret that the 2017 offseason has been slow as molasses in comparison to past years,” he wrote. “However, it’s mind-boggling that only one MLB free agent has signed a contract of four or more years thus far. That was Justin Upton who signed a five-year, $106 million contract on Nov. 2 to stay with the Los Angeles Angels.
“Since then we have seen 47 free agents sign MLB deals that were for three years or less. Of those signings, 27 were valued at $10 million or less.”
The Mets reportedly only have $10 million left to spend. However, their hope is that if they wait out the market, they can land players on shorter, less lucrative deals.
“[Frazier] still appears to be on the Yankees’ radar, but he could also be a fallback plan for teams such as the Red Sox, Braves, Mets, and Padres,” Cafardo wrote. “Frazier was someone the Red Sox discussed at the trade deadline. He picked up his game later in the season with the Yankees, and he’d love a reunion being a Jersey boy.”
With the Mets having some question marks about Dominic Smith at first base, Frazier could serve as either a platoon partner or even an insurance policy for Smith. In Smith’s young career, he has not hit left-handed pitchers well, and that has been something that followed him to the majors with Smith hitting .129/.243/.194 in 37 plate appearances.
Frazier’s presence could also permit the Mets to move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base or use him as a utility player pending what the team can do in the offseason to address the keystone. The one concern about Cabrera at second is his defense. In 274.1 innings there last year, he had -6 defensive runs saved. This is not particularly an outlier with him posting -10 DRS at second base in 2014 with the Nationals.
Frazier is an accomplished defender at third base with a 10 DRS there last year. The number was a career best for him. However, it should be noted in five of the six seasons he has logged at least a thousand innings at third, he has had a 5 DRS or higher at the position.
Offensively in 2017, Frazier hit .213/.344/.428 with 19 doubles, a triple, 27 homers and 76 RBI. With those numbers, he had a 108 wRC+ and a 107 OPS+.
Overall, Frazier would add an interesting dynamic to the Mets by giving them an insurance policy at two different infield positions, and he would significantly upgrade the third base position defensively, a spot where the Mets posted a National League worst -17 DRS last year.
This comes on the heels of Joel Sherman of the New York Post saying in December that the Mets could be “curious if not aggressive” on Frazier.
However, it’s important to take these reports with a grain of salt, as New York has been slow to do anything this offseason and general manager Sandy Alderson does have that reported limited dollar amount to work with.