Mets: Next on the DFA list is ex-Brodie Van Wagenen client Todd Frazier
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets haven’t been afraid to DFA slumping players. At the top of the list to fall on their sword is former Brodie Van Wagenen client Todd Frazier.
Perhaps it’s because I’m writing this after the 9-8 loss against the Detroit Tigers on Friday. Whether it’s the case or I’ve just seen Todd Frazier long enough to know what he’s capable of, the fact is he’s the man who should be next on the list of players for the New York Mets to designate for assignment.
The Mets have spent the first two months of 2019 issuing a DFA to what feels like a larger than usual number of players. Specifically, it’s men who should have had larger reserve roles with the ball club.
They began with issuing one to Travis d’Arnaud in April. In May, it was Keon Broxton’s turn. The difference between these men and Frazier is they were never clients with general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. Though Broxton was an addition brought in by BVW, they didn’t have a personal relationship prior to his role with the Mets.
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I think highly of Van Wagenen for parting with d’Arnaud and Broxton. Keeping d’Arnaud was partly his decision back in November when they could have non-tendered him a deal so he’s also—in a way—admitting failure there.
What Van Wagenen has yet to do is send any of his former clients packing. He didn’t trade any in the offseason and has continued to put others on the field. Of course, many of them haven’t been healthy. Jed Lowrie has yet to play a game and Yoenis Cespedes will miss all of 2019 after playing in less than a quarter of the season in 2018.
Van Wagenen’s former clients have run amuck on the Mets. Robinson Cano’s underperformance, Jason Vargas’ continued mediocrity when actually healthy, and Frazier’s ill-fitting existence on the roster are a little too convenient. Even with Jacob deGrom’s presence and what we hope becomes a better Noah Syndergaard, the majority of players he once represented are bringing this team down.
If you asked me at the beginning of the year which ex-client of his would sit atop the list of players to release, I would have named Vargas. He’ll have to pitch a little worse to receive his walking papers. Right now, it’s Frazier and his 0 for 5, error, and game-ending double play on Friday night which has him in the one seed.
Next year, Frazier is going to become one of those men who signs a minor league deal somewhere with the hope of earning a promotion to the big leagues. He’s clearly cooked and no longer the same productive player he was during his best years. He no longer hits for much power and has failed to find ways to reach base.
When the Mets get healthier, they seriously need to consider what the best team they can put together looks like. It’s impossible to, with a straight face, say Frazier deserves playing time at third base over several different men.
If this means eating his salary, burning a bridge, and moving on from him then that’s the way it has to be. BVW isn’t here to make friends with his ex-clients. He’s here, as he has said before, to put the best 25 men on the field. Frazier’s performance barely cracks the top 40.
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Matt Kemp was hitting .200 in 20 games with the Cincinnati Reds before they released him. Frazier isn’t much better at .205 in his first 26 games. Take a hint and move on as soon as possible.