The Mets will reportedly sign third baseman Todd Frazier to a two-year, $17 million deal pending a physical, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.
New York had been searching for another infielder throughout the offseason to allow them to play Asdrubal Cabrera at second base, and found that player in Frazier, who hit .213 with 27 home runs and 76 RBIs in 147 games with the Yankees and White Sox last season.
Frazier was among the top third basemen the Mets were targeting, as they had also reportedly looked at players like Mike Moustakas, Josh Harrison and Eduardo Nunez. Frazier's contract, which has him making $8 million next season and $9 million in 2019, does not have any incentives, but has a $500,000 assignment bonus if he is traded, according to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman.
Though he will likely be the Mets' starting third baseman come Opening Day, Frazier's agents let the team know the 31-year-old veteran is willing to play first base in case David Wright gets healthy enough to play or Dominic Smith or Adrian Gonzalez struggle, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman.
Frazier is a lifetime .250 hitter with six home runs and 13 RBIs at Citi Field, where he has played in 22 games.
He hit .207 with 16 home runs and 44 RBIs with Chicago last year before he was traded to the Yankees, hitting .222 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs in 66 games in pinstripes.
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Frazier at $8.5 million per year is a tremendous get for the Mets. With the Pirates reportedly not coming off their trade demands for Harrison, Frazier was the best fit -- and the Mets' patience paid off.
Aside from Frazier, the Mets were reportedly considering the defensively-challenged Nunez and old friend Neil Walker, who has had issues with injuries over the last two seasons.
Frazier, whose signing will force Cabrera to second base, should give the Mets some certainty (and excellent defense) at third base, along with another terrific presence inside the clubhouse.
A lot has been made of Frazier's low batting average, but his career-low BABIP in 2017 suggests that some improvement should be expected in that regard.
The Mets, like most teams, started this offseason incredibly slow. And a report that they were expected to slash payroll by roughly $20 million jolted an already-shaken fanbase. Since then, though, they have brought back Jay Bruce and signed Frazier, bringing their payroll to roughly $145 million.
With this market and with their needs, they shouldn't be done. The Mets should bring in another established starting pitcher and a left-handed reliever to complement Jerry Blevins. If they do, this offseason will have been a success.