The New York Mets acquired two established veterans after Monday’s Trade Deadline as they make a push for a playoff spot over the final month of the season.
The New York Mets made three last-minute deals at Monday’s Trade Deadline with two of the deals having them acquire a very familiar face in infielder Todd Frazier as well as an established veteran catcher in Robinson Chirinos from the Texas Rangers. The Mets in return will exchange a player to be named later in each of the separate deals with the Rangers.
Many Mets fans were certainly confused by this trade with the Rangers as it seems there is really no place for either player on the roster. However, both players may be more useful on this current Mets roster than most of us think.
Let’s begin with infielder Todd Frazier. The 34-year old Toms River, New Jersey native was one of the main leaders on the Mets during his time in Queens and was beloved by his teammates. First baseman Pete Alonso had a positive reaction to the news after the Mets ball game on Monday when asked about the acquisition of Frazier;
“This is news to me. But if he does come back, I love Todd. Todd is the man. He’s always welcome here in the clubhouse. Never a dull moment.”
Frazier brings an established veteran presence to the Mets locker room as they make a final push to the playoffs over the final month of the season. With a rookie manager and a team that seems to be spirling out of the playoff race with their recent play, do not underestimate the impact Frazier can provide this team on his presence alone, especially on many of the young guys in the clubhouse.
Also, many of us do not know the severity of the current third baseman J.D. Davis’ hip injury which could require a stint on the injured list if his status does not improve. If Davis is forced to miss any time, Fraizer can easily step in and play third base for the Mets while providing proven Major League production both offensively and defensively. Frazier could also provide a solid late-inning defensive replacement for Manager Luis Rojas if Davis is indeed healthy.
Over his previous two seasons in Queens with the Mets, the two-time All-Star hit 39 home runs while driving in 126 runners with a 0.737 OPS. The right-handed hitting Frazier could slide into the Mets left-handed friendly lineup and provide a boost against left-handed pitching with his .343 batting average against southpaws this season.
The Mets will hold a $5.75 million club option for 2021 on Frazier or a $1.5 million buy out. If Frazier provides a difference in the clubhouse as well as on the field, it’s not inconceivable he is brought back in 2021.
With the acquisition of 36-year old veteran catcher Robinson Chirinos, Wilson Ramos and his playing time have officially been put on notice. While Chirinos hasn’t produced so far in the small sample size of 42 plate appearances as he spent time on the injured list with a right ankle sprain, he is only one season removed from his 17 home run season with the Houston Astros. He also slugged 18 home runs in 2018 and 17 in 2018 with the Rangers.
Ramos has struggled both offensively and defensively this season in what is very likely his last season with the Mets. With back-up catcher Tomas Nido currently on the injured list with no timetable on his return, as well as Rene Rivera out for the season, a veteran reinforcement was currently needed at the catching position.
The Mets are hoping that they can catch lightning in a bottle over the final month of the season with the veteran catcher, as it’s a very low-risk move for the Mets to make. With the offensive production behind the plate currently being virtually non-existent, this was a solid move for the Mets to make with a proven veteran who has shown some power at the plate in previous seasons.
The same sentiment said for Frazier could be said for Chirinos, as the Mets hold a $6.5 million club option for 2021 with a $1 million buy out. If Chirinos auditions well for the Mets down the stretch he could be possibly brought back for 2021, as there is no clear option at the starting catching position next season.
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One thing is for certain after the deadline. The Mets made smaller-scale moves to improve the ball club heading into the final month of the season, and they did it by buying low on two proven commodities at the Major League level.