Mets free agent retrospective: Two weird years with Todd Frazier

A forgettable yet very memorable recent free agent deal by the Mets.

Miami Marlins v New York Mets
Miami Marlins v New York Mets / Adam Hunger/GettyImages
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When thinking of players who left for the New York Yankees to join the New York Mets, the name Todd Frazier never comes to mind. It’s exactly what happened, though. He finished off the 2017 as a member of the Bronx Bombers hitting .222/.365/.423 with 11 home runs in 66 games. He injected excitement into their ALCS-bound locker room only to get buzzed out of the postseason by the Houston Astros.

In need of a third baseman, the Mets turned to Frazier for help for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. A now extremely modest $17 million deal for two seasons, Frazier was meant to be only a Band-Aid while everyone wondered if David Wright could ever make it back.

Two weird years and another half with Todd Frazier on the Mets roster

Frazier had an impossible to predict career. He smashed a career-high 40 home runs in 2016 to go along with 98 RBI all the while seeing his slash line dip down to .225 after multiple seasons of hitting well above it. The Mets got similar results out of him in his two seasons in Queens. Hitting for power was about the only consistent attribute he brought with him.

In year one, the Mets were a predictable mess. The 2018 offseason is laughably bad in retrospect. Big additions included Frazier, Jay Bruce, starting pitcher Jason Vargas, and reliever Anthony Swarzak. All forgettable in their own way yet completely memorable in others, Frazier did something he hadn’t done in a long time: missed a bunch of games.

Injuries got the best of many members of that year’s Mets team. Frazier would appear in only 115 games—his lowest since becoming a full-time major leaguer. The performance wasn’t up to par either with the Toddfather slashing .213/.303/.390 for the Mets while adding 18 home runs.

In came the 2019 campaign when expectations were readjusted for everyone. So were the baseballs. The 2019 Mets made a late season charge toward the postseason, largely the back of power-hitting rookie Pete Alonso. Known as the Polar Bear, we have Frazier to thank for the moniker.

Frazier was much better in year two. He batted .251/.329/.443 and increased his home runs to 21 albeit with more chances. The Mets did routinely sit him a little more in favor of seeing guys like J.D. Davis can perform at third base.

At season’s end, Frazier left for the Texas Rangers but would return at the 2020 trade deadline. As a former client of Brodie Van Wagenen, the need to bring him back to Flushing was apparent.

Frazier’s time with the Mets is easy to forget because of where the team was and how much has changed since. Welcomed at first, the injuries and lack of hitting failed to make him a fan favorite. It didn’t help that he routinely blocked fans on social media as well. Long before there was Marcus Stroman or Andy Martino stockpiling bodies on their blocked lists, we had Frazier.

The deal turned out to be a very “meh” free agent signing for the Mets. Little did we know, the salt and pepper shaker thing would die so quickly and the Polar Bear nickname would last forever.

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