Why would the Cleveland Indians ever consider Frazier when they have the 2017 and 2018 third-place MVP finisher Jose Ramirez at third base? Have you seen his 2019 numbers? Ramirez is slumping with a batting average and OBP only a pitcher could be proud of. He isn’t hitting home runs. Suddenly, the star slugger’s contract he signed with the ball club looks like less of a bargain.
Ramirez does have a solid track record and there’s a reason to believe he turns things around. The 26-year-old isn’t getting replaced by Frazier, but some insurance won’t hurt.
In addition to giving the Indians another option at third base, Frazier would simply provide them with depth. They’ve been short on depth for much of 2019 with many of their starters underperforming.
Ideally, the Indians could look at Frazier as someone to play either corner infield position and possibly fill in as a DH. Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor have hit well for the team in 2019. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much else from their bats.
The bigger need for the Indians is in the outfield. Ramirez has played left field in the past so it’s always possible a position change takes place to improve the overall offense.
A deal between the Indians and Mets involving Frazier does have its challenge. The organization isn’t known for overspending. However, with more than half of his contract paid by the Mets this year when any trade would go down, he’s quite affordable. What’s more, with his free agency pending, they’re not married to him beyond 2019.
The fit is not perfect. Regardless, Frazier is an affordable bat who could give the Indians’ offense a much-needed boost.
These two teams have made several trades in recent years including the 2017 trade deadline deal which sent Jay Bruce to Cleveland. This year, to get anything at all for Frazier, they may repeat the process.