If the New York Mets waited for a little longer this offseason, they may have nabbed Mike Moustakas on a cheap one-year deal. However, they are in a much better position with two years of Todd Frazier than one with “Moose.”
The New York Mets entered the offseason with a major need at either second base or third base. This all depended on where they would place Asdrubal Cabrera. Last year’s “position controversy” fell to the side as Cabrera willingly accepted a role as the team’s starting second baseman in 2018.
The reason he’ll play second base and not third base is because the Mets went out and signed Todd Frazier to a two-year deal. The veteran slugger adds a boost to the lineup that another free agent third baseman this winter could have as well.
Following a year in which he hit 38 bombs for the Kansas City Royals, Mike Moustakas entered the free agent pool at the perfect time–or so it would seem. He had a monster season at the plate. Surely, someone would reward him for all of the four-base hits.
As luck would have it, Moustakas joined a crop of free agents that many teams passed on. He suffered one of the worst results, settling on a one-year deal worth only $6.5 million. That offer came from the Royals, a team that appears more interested in rebuilding than going all in for a championship.
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This pair of home run-hitting third basemen both settled for less than many believed they deserved. The Mets, by striking early, had to pay more for Frazier than what Moustakas ended up getting. In some ways, it looks like a blunder. Based on other factors, they still made the right choice even with the benefit of some hindsight.
What Todd Frazier brings to the New York Mets
Todd Frazier doesn’t have a World Series ring or a ton of playoff experience. The vast majority of his time in the postseason came when the Cincinnati Reds were winning regularly in the early part of this decade. They never advanced beyond the first round, but Frazier was still there to experience the hardships.
Last season offered Frazier something new. Once dealt to the New York Yankees, he had an opportunity to play meaningful baseball for the first time in a few years. His days with the Chicago White Sox were rather uneventful from a win-column perspective. With the Yankees, every game seemed to matter.
Frazier was key to the Yankees’ playoff run in 2017. His leadership stood out more than any statistic or crooked number in a box score. After many years of losing, Frazier’s playoff hunger was placed in front of a buffet. He stepped up in the locker room and helped carry a still young and inexperienced Yankees team to Game Seven of the ALCS.
Unfortunately for Frazier and his ring finger, the Houston Astros were better.
Meanwhile, Mike Moustakas has actually won a World Series. He did so against the New York Mets in 2015. The difference is that Moustakas wasn’t on the same leadership level as Frazier. This Mets team needs a guy on the other side of 30 who has experienced what Frazier has. Three years ago, they were missing it. Maybe the answer was in their own backyard down in Toms River, New Jersey.