Todd Frazier is one of the more under-the-radar free agents this offseason. Is it possible that he could play for the Texas Rangers next season?
The soon to be 34-year old Todd Frazier has been looking for a new home after a bounce back season with the New York Mets. He’s had limited chatter partially due to the oversaturated third base market. However, the Texas Rangers are still in the market for a third baseman and could turn to Frazier as a short-term alternative. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweeted out Tuesday that he had heard from sources that the club had been in contact with Frazier.
After a dip in production in 2018 where he hit only .213 with 18 home runs, “The Todd Father” got back on track this past season, hitting .251 with 21 homers and 67 RBI. Although Frazier is past his prime, he could still provide a solid bat and defense for the Rangers in the short term. In 2019, Frazier sported a .964 fielding percentage while playing both corner infield spots, which is a bright spot for a guy who will be 34 heading into Spring Training. He’s not an elite man for the hot corner but he could likely still get the job done.
While production is average for Frazier nowadays, there is more there than initially advertised. Players around the league praise Frazier for how good of a clubhouse presence he is, and that could be a good place to start if the Rangers decide to go that direction. Plus, he wouldn’t be the first free agent third baseman to come into Arlington and take the reigns of the clubhouse. Remember that Adrian Beltre guy? Is he going to be the stud that Beltre was? No. But can he help take the leadership load off of guys like Elvis Andrus and Joey Gallo? Absolutely.
Production aside, the Rangers need an outside man to fill the hole that Adrian Beltre left and the disaster experiment that was Asdrubal Cabrera. The Rangers whiffed on Anthony Rendon and have been reported as out of Josh Donaldson. The likes of other high caliber third basemen, i.e. Nolan Arenado and Kris Bryant, would put the Rangers in another hole regarding the farm system and could create future problems if they can’t lock up Bryant or work the opt-out out of Arenado’s massive extension. So why not take a flyer on Frazier?
At the end of the day, the Texas Rangers need an outside guy to play third. The internal guys like Nick Solak, Danny Santana and Isiah Kiner-Falefa are quality pieces, but not enough to give the Rangers confidence. Not at the hot corner at least. The Rangers took strike one with Rendon and took strike two with Donaldson by backing out, but they can’t allow themselves to take strike three and head into the season with an inexperienced third baseman. Go get him on a two year deal, and build the bridge for Josh Jung, Sherten Apostel or Davis Wendzel.