Texas Rangers: Predicting who gets dealt at the MLB Trade Deadline
By Kenneth Nash
Veteran Specialist: Todd Frazier
When the Texas Rangers signed Todd Frazier this past offseason the goal was to make him the primary third baseman for the team in 2020. Injuries and the breakout of Isiah Kiner-Falefa though prompted Frazier to shift over to first base to open the season. However now with Elvis Andrus out Kiner-Falefa has shifted to shortstop and Frazier has returned to third base.
For any potential suitors Frazier wouldn’t likely be an everyday option. While he has some positional flexibility, able to play both corner infield spots, his defense isn’t stellar at either spot. However Frazier has one exceptional trait that would be valuable to a potential buyer and that’s his ability to consistently crush left-handed pitching.
Despite hitting under .200 against right-handers Frazier is hitting .343 against lefties and has a .939 OPS against southpaws. With a universal DH applied for this season, he could be a great platoon option against left-handed starters and he also brings a strong, well-documented clubhouse presence. He also carries a team option for 2021 with a reasonable buyout meaning he doesn’t have to be a rental, but he also could be a cheap option for next year too.
While Frazier starts for this current Rangers’ team his value is best as a platoon option in a competitive lineup. That elite ability to hit left-handers creates a niche market for Frazier but it’s a skill that could be critical come postseason play. Don’t expect the world in a potential return for Frazier but if the Rangers’ kicked in enough money to cover his $1.5 million buyout for next season, they could net a couple of lower tier prospects and potentially resign Frazier again this offseason with eyes on him splitting time at first or third base against left-handed starters.