Written by: Bobby Engelhard
Todd Frazier has agreed to a deal with the New York Mets pending a physical. The deal is worth 17 million dollars over two years. This move has been met with mixed reviews from fans. I think the fans who don’t like this move are focused on numbers and the fans who love this move are focused on intangibles. I am here to bridge the gap between intangibles and stats and tell you this is a great move by the New York Mets.
Reason #1- Stats
People who do not like Todd Frazier immediately turn to his low batting average and strikeout rate. This is fine to point out, but let’s remember the game of baseball we are in right now. Everyone strikes out and the batting average is not viewed as important as some other stats. I’m one who does not like a low batting average, but strikeouts don’t bother me as much. In certain cases, a strikeout hurts the team such as runner on third with less than two outs, but in reality a strikeout most of the time is the same as a fly ball out. I look at RBI’s when it comes to caring about strikeouts. If the player shows he can drive in runs, I have a hard time killing him over how he makes his outs. Todd Frazier has shown to be a solid RBI man, so I can live with him striking out. Todd Frazier has the ability to hit home runs and that has to be accounted for. I know home runs are up lately, but Todd Frazier has been a consistent home run threat over the past four seasons. He has been good enough to have hit 122 home runs in the last four season which puts him only behind Nolan Arenado and Josh Donaldson, who are MVP Caliber players when it comes to third baseman. A bat like Todd Frazier is useful in any lineup and is a huge upgrade over who we have had playing third base recently statistically. This is a reason why Todd Frazier has had an average WAR of 3.14 during his seven year career.
Reason #2- Defense
Todd Frazier is a very good third baseman. It’s been years since the New York Mets have had a competent third baseman fielding wise out there, not to mention a good one. Todd Frazier is an actual third baseman and not a makeshift option which is also huge. He has had a positive defensive war for the last five seasons. He also had a +10 defensive runs saved at third last season and +6.7 UZR. Mike Moustakas, on the other hand, had a terrible year defensively last season and has shown only to be a mediocre defender in past seasons. I cannot put a premium on the importance of infield defense when it comes to a team built around pitching. Based off that I am happy with this move.
Reason #3- Leadership
This is something that can’t quantified but everyone who has talked about Todd Frazier has brought up the point he is a leader and a good clubhouse guy. I asked a Yankee fan—who is a friend of mine and knows baseball as well as anyone—about what he thought of Todd Frazier and he said, “He changed the Yankees when he got here; he is a great fielder and leader.” The Mets have some characters on this team and anyone who is a good leader is a welcome addition. Being a leader only goes so far, but if he puts up his typical numbers and defense, then this is a great move for the New York Mets.
Reason # 4- Price
Two years 17 million is a steal of a price for a player of Todd Frazier’s ability. Asdrubal Cabrera is making the same amount of money this season, to put this deal in prospective. Getting him for only two years gives the player incentive and the team a way out if things do not go as planned. This move also leaves room to add another quality player, such as Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb.