Even before the New York Yankees strong playoff push, highlighted by Todd Frazier’s thumbs down salute, his name has been mentioned as a candidate for the New York Mets starting third baseman, assuming David Wright is unable to come back.
As the season went on, there were many fans for the Mets wanting to add Mike Moustakas from the Kansas City Royals. Moustakas had a strong 2017 season, as the Royals made one last run together, before free agency breaks up the team.
It soon became clear that Moustakas might be out of the Mets price range. Mets General manager Sandy Alderson is on record saying the Mets need to add a veteran starting pitcher to sure up the rotation.
Spending $7 to $10 million on a starting pitcher takes away a large chunk of free agent cash, making Moustakas unlikely.
In walks Todd Frazier, straight from Jenkinson’s boardwalk on the Jersey shore.
A quick look at his season, and many Mets fans shake their head. We can do better. A batting average of .213 and 125 strike outs. “No thanks!!” they scream.
In fact, the original motivation behind this very article was to encourage the Mets to look past Frazier, and do what they can to acquire Dee Gordon from the Miami Marlins. You can read about Dee right here: A case for Dee Gordon
A funny thing happens when you do a little research. Some numbers start to pop out. Frazier’s 85 walks, for one. He almost doubled his walk total of 48 in 2015. And raised his walk total of 64 from 2016.
Dee Gordon walked a total of 25 times, with over 100 more plate appearances then Frazier. Moustakas has 34 walks, in roughly the same number of games, at bats, and plate appearances as Frazier.
Many fans are off put by Frazier’s 125 strike outs. But Gordon had 94 punch outs. Moustakas logged 94 Ks.
Frazier’s .344 OBP tops the list, with Moustakas in 3rd at .314. Moustakas’s low on base numbers could be a bigger concern then Frazier’s high strike out rate.
Starting this process, it looked like Moustakas was the clear top choice to take over third base. Frazier would be a last resort.
A look through all the numbers, and maybe Frazier is a better choice no matter what. A concern would be that his walk rate would plummet. He was on a bad White Sox team most of the season, and maybe pitchers were working around him.
But he’s raised his walk rate each season. This could be Frazier’s normal stats.
Frazier’s intangibles are clearly on displace during the post season. He has passion, energy and is a true professional hitter.
Moustakas and Dee Gordon both bring a level of veteran leadership, passion and professionalism to their game as well. But Frazier’s fire has been well on display.
Moustakas could be looking at a contract of $17 million to $20 million a year, for four to six years. Dee Gordon is signed through 2020 (with a team option for 2021). He makes $10.6 million in 2018 and averages $13.5 in 2019 and 2020.
Frazier is probably looking at similar numbers to Dee Gordon. He could make between $10 and $13 million over the next two to three years.
A simple case could be made that Frazier could have the biggest positive impact on the Mets in 2018. Combine that with the cost associated with acquiring either Moustakas or Dee Gordon, Frazier, looks even more like the smart decision.
An interesting turn of events could happen if the Mets turn down Asdrubal Cabrera’s $6.5 million option for 2018. They could then package Juan Lagares, and his $6.5 million contract in 2018, and could have room within budget, to add both Todd Frazier and Dee Gordon, completely transforming the Mets infield and the Mets offense.