2. Adam Frazier
OK, keyboard warriors. Now that I’ve seen how involved Tyler Wade is in the 2021 Yankees’ season, I’ve come around on Adam Frazier as a trade target. He’s a worthwhile enough upgrade at a lesser cost than would’ve been attached to him in April.
Frazier is only under control for another year and a half, and is making a paltry $4.3 million for the full 2021 season, placing him firmly under the Yankees’ level of budgetary concern. Didn’t think it was possible for an offensive upgrade to fit so neatly under the tax line, but folks? We did it.
This year, Frazier has played primarily second base with an extremely tiny cameo in left field, but in the past, he’s manned all three outfield positions comfortably — unlike Tyler Wade. Basically, the redundancy the Yankees faced when they carried Mike Tauchman on the bench, giving them a glut of primary left fielders, would not be a struggle here. Frazier would be able to effortlessly back up all necessary positions in case of emergency.
He’s also hitting well.
Coming off an OPS+ of 97 in 2019, followed by a dreadful 78 mark in the shortened season, I wasn’t confident he could be enough of an upgrade on Wade to justify the cost — and he also can’t play shortstop. However, thus far in 2021, Frazier is ripping the ball to the tune of a 126 mark, a .307 average, 11 doubles and two triples, which would be two more than the entire Yankees roster.
Yes, Frazier’s exit velocity and hard hit marks are still at the very bottom of the league. He’s not going to sustainably smack the ball 26% above league average for the rest of the season. He’s very versatile, though, and provides speed without sacrificing offense entirely. He’s also on the roster of a frequent trading partner.
I think I’ve seen the light, thanks in large part to Gardner and Clint Frazier having been as bad as they’ve been.