With less than three weeks until Yankees pitchers and catcher report, Todd Frazier, along with many other top name free agents still remain unsigned.
The market to overpay 30-year-old’s for their 20s simply isn’t there anymore. It’s a game of who will blink first. Whether the Yankees are in that scenario with Todd Frazier is a question, but it shouldn’t be.
The 31-year-old was dealt to the Yankees last July along with David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, and despite hitting just .222/.365/.423, Frazier provided stellar defense while quickly forming himself as a leader in the clubhouse.
While the desire to remain in the Bronx is there for Frazier, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported that the Yankees are quite optimistic regarding their internal options at second and third base.
However, my ideal opening day lineup certainly doesn’t consist of both Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres in the infield.
Now, of course the futures of the two top prospects look very bright. Nonetheless, as we inch closer and closer to Spring Training, Frazier’s asking price should dwindle. And with that said, the possibility of his return to the Bombers could grow, as it should.
At first glance, Frazier’s numbers certainly don’t jump off the page, 213/.344/.328 in 147 games.
However the Toms River, NJ native did post an above league average wRC+ of 108 while ranking 4th among all third baseman with 10 defensive runs saved. This is also a player who made two consecutive NL All-Star teams followed by a 40-homer season in 2016.
Along with a more than serviceable bat and the outstanding defense Frazier provides, he also embraced the Yankee clubhouse and was a crucial part of the team’s chemistry.
“We’ve got a good group of guys,” said Frazier. “We hang out all the time. And for me, I just came in being myself. And that’s how I got comfortable with the team.”
With somewhere around $20 million to spend before hitting the luxury tax threshold, give or take, Frazier’s return to the Bronx is certainly possible.
Although reports state the third baseman is seeking a multi-year deal, as February approaches don’t be surprised if the Yankees are able to scoop him up on a team friendly contract within the next few weeks.
If the opportunity arises and a reasonable one-year deal can be agreed upon then the Yanks would be unwise not to close in. A low-risk option in Frazier would give Andujar a little more seasoning while also providing above league average production at the hot corner.