Before the 2018 season, the New York Mets signed Todd Frazier to a two-year deal. After they let him walk in 2020, the Mets traded for him back mid-season. Now, the newest of the Mets trade rumors suggests they’re interested in acquiring Frazier again, just a different one — Adam.
Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Mets are among the teams in on Pittsburgh Pirates’ second baseman Adam Frazier.
With less than a month until the trade deadline, the Mets trade rumors machine is up and running in full force, and Adam Frazier is the latest in a long series of names to come down the pipeline.
Frazier is in the midst of a breakout season with the Buccos, hitting .326/.396/.461 and making the first All-Star game. He doesn’t have much pop in his bat, hitting just four home runs, but what he does do is get on base — a lot.
His .396 on-base percentage ranks No. 4 in the majors, only behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Max Muncy, and Juan Soto. In terms of where it would rank on the Mets, he’s in a clear first place among qualifiers, a full 58 points above the Mets’ current leader Pete Alonso. Only Brandon Nimmo and Luis Guillorme have a higher on-base percentage, and both of them missed serious time due to injury.
In fact, through the first week of July, Frazier is MLB’s hit leader with 109, two more than Cincinnati’s Nick Castellanos.
His potential fit on the Mets is … interesting. He’s another left-handed second baseman, just like Jeff McNeil. The two of them are sort of cut from the same cloth at the plate, both being high-average, top-of-the-order table setters when at their best. McNeil definitely has a bit more pop, but Frazier has the higher on-base percentage.
The addition of Frazier would likely push McNeil over to third, and since both players would likely not sit very often, push Guillorme, Jonathan Villar, and J.D. Davis (when he comes back) to larger bench roles. Now, Guillorme or Davis could very be sent to Pittsburgh in the deal, being the younger pieces under contract for longer than just this season, unlike Villar.
It could also mean the end of Jose Peraza in a Mets uniform, especially if none of the infielders mentioned above are sent back to Pittsburgh. That is something the Mets might not be too keen on doing for reasons covered in my article about Asdrubal Cabrera from a few days ago. Long story short, Peraza has essentially been one of the clutchest hitters in baseball in his limited playing time.
However, the upside of Frazier is huge because he’s just so different from most bats in baseball nowadays, especially on this Mets team that features a lot of swing-and-miss heavy power hitters. He’s a singles hitter, looking to simply get on base every time he steps up to the plate, not hit a home run. He does it well too, better than almost everyone in the league this season.
He’s also under contract through 2022, which is huge for the Mets. He has enough time left under team control where acquiring him wouldn’t be a rental, but the Pirates might be willing to deal him because he’ll hit free agency most likely before they’re competitive. If the Mets get him, expect an offseason full of Mets trade rumors involving Davis and Guillorme, one of whom would be expendable at that point, more likely Davis.
Some concerns with these Mets trade rumors
There are some concerns though. Frazier doesn’t really have the track record to back up this season’s production. He’s had spurts of success nearing this level, but has never had a full season even close to what he’s done through the first half of this one. Through his first five seasons in the league, Frazier hit .273 with an OPS of .749 and an OPS+ of 99. Technically, Frazier was a below-average hitter until this season.
There’s a very real chance the Mets would be buying Frazier at the peak of his value. The Mets would be trading for an All-Star, so while I don’t expect it to cost an arm and a leg, it’s also not going to be cheap. If he regresses to his career norms, the Mets could get the wrong end of the deal.
Frazier is a risk, for sure, and while his upside is great, he’s not really a necessity right now with McNeil, Guillorme, Villar, Peraza and eventually Davis. He’s certainly an upgrade over at least some of them, but is he enough of an upgrade where it would be worth what the Mets would have to give up?
The only way the Mets likely make this deal is if they are confident Frazier’s first half of the season wasn’t a fluke and he really has turned a corner in his age-29 season. The Mets will get an extra-close look this weekend and then again right after the All-Star break to try to find out.
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The latest of the Mets trade rumors certainly is an interesting one, and while he could be a great addition, it’s personally not a gamble I would be willing to make.