Todd Frazier has a club option for the 2021 season. The New York Mets are going to pick it up, aren’t they?
Something that has flown under my radar since the acquisition of Todd Frazier ahead of the trade deadline is his contract. I could have sworn he signed a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers. Little did I realize, his contract includes a $5.75 million option for 2021 and a $1.5 million buyout I would be happy to see the New York Mets front office pay.
Frazier hasn’t been abysmal since rejoining the Mets. However, he doesn’t really have much of a place with this club nor does there appear to be any obvious way to get him extended playing time in 2021.
His presence on the ball club has already stolen away a few at-bats from Luis Guillorme—a man who has done nothing but hit all year long. Assuming the roster size in 2021 is no larger than 26, it’s hard to envision how the Mets move forward with the Toddfather on the team payroll.
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In a five-man bench scenario, we should see a backup catcher, two infielders, and two outfielders. Frazier would be one of the infielders but his inability to play a middle position makes him a lesser choice than players like Guillorme and Andres Gimenez.
As a corner infielder exclusively, Frazier has no real place on the Mets. The team already has Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith sharing first base duties. At third base, there’s J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil.
The decision to bring Frazier back in what was essential a salary dump deal isn’t a terrible one. Every team could use a veteran bat for a stretch run.
At first, it seemed as if his return did influence the team positively. Alonso has hit better (at times) and the clubhouse was reportedly a whole lot looser with him around.
This hasn’t fixed everything. Frazier probably has very little—if any—influence on the pitchers. Nobody has drastically improved either with him on the club either. It’s also foolish to think Alonso needs Frazier in the same locker room to have any chance at swatting baseballs.
Under the Brodie Van Wagenen regime, we have seen plenty of questionable roster decisions. The idea of even signing Jed Lowrie in the first place made little sense. This is an organization trying to get by with a surplus at some positions and an empty tank at others.
Frazier isn’t going to hurt the payroll or prevent the Mets from signing any big name players. He’s also not blocking any minor leaguers who could give them much more.
Picking up the option for 2021 does do something—it shows the Mets are committed to him and not finding something better.
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Old reruns are wonderful for background noise. In baseball, repeats get tired fast. As we have seen plenty of times with other players, they don’t usually work out well either. All signs point to an uneventful part two to the Frazier saga.