Todd Frazier is a good player. Since breaking into the majors with the Reds in 2012, he’s put up the following OPS+ marks, in order: 118, 98, 121, 117, 107, 105. Even in his worst offensive year, he was still a productive player because of his power and solid defense. He hit 40 home runs in 2016, which even gives him something in common with the Giants!
Todd Frazier is a flawed player. His batting average fell all the way to .213 last year, and although he set a career high in walks, there’s no guarantee that he’ll keep walking enough to keep his OBP over .300. He’ll be 32 next year, which is certainly an age when players don’t have to stay productive. And he’ll likely command a three-year deal, which means that he’s likely to be a burden by the end of his contract. Just look at the Giants’ outfield for how much a bad backend of a contract can hurt a team’s ability to build a contending team in the offseason.
According to Joel Sherman, the Giants are one of 10 teams interested in Frazier. This makes sense. It’s also scary. Welcome to the Giants’ offseason.
As it stands, Frazier would likely command enough money to push the Giants up against the salary cap/competitive balance tax on his own. MLB Trade Rumors predicts that he’ll get $33 million for three years, with Jon Heyman predicting a $48 million/four-year deal. That wouldn’t lead a lot of money for an outfield addition if the Giants want to stay under the tax, much less a bullpen addition. So unless there’s money cleared in a prospect-as-veteran-sweetener deal, Frazier would be the biggest move of the offseason.
If the Giants are willing to blow past the tax, or if they have a bright idea to free up payroll, I would be for Frazier. He’s a fine player, and as a right-handed slugger, he would give them a chance to have their first 30-homer player since Barry Bonds left. But, like the idea of a Billy Hamilton trade, the grade would be a big incomplete until we see what the complementary deals were that completed the offseason. Just Frazier alone isn’t going to do it.
Mike Trout and Carlos Correa wouldn’t do it, either, idiot.
Hey, that’s not nice. But it’s also somewhat accurate. It’s hard to see the Giants spending even more money on a player who isn’t likely to be worth the money in 2020, when they’ll have several other aging players on big contracts. Not for this roster, which is still questionable on multiple fronts. This isn’t a team that needs a cherry on top of the sundae. They need some damned ice cream. Maybe some syrup. I always thought nuts were out of place, but that’s just me.
What I would avoid, though, is suggesting that Frazier isn’t a good baseball player because of his low average. He could help the Giants’ lineup. The only problem is that he might hurt their ability to make more improvements this offseason. And, friends, they need a lot of improvements. Color me skeptical about this rumor ever turning into reality, even if it makes some level of sense.
Consider this, though: Spending money on Todd Frazier makes about eleventy million times more sense than spending it on Jay Bruce, who has the same offensive tools but is left-handed and plays an iffy defensive outfield. If the Giants feel like they have to do something, this would at least fit their specific needs well.