According to MLB insiders, free-agent 3B Todd Frazier would prefer to sign with the Mets or Yankees.
However, I hear the Yankees do not want to give him a long-term deal. And, while I believe the Mets are open to giving him a two-year deal, my hunch is they prefer to spend their money on a second baseman and keep Asdrubal Cabrera at third base.
The Mets are signaling a willingness to us Cabrera at second base, but they would much rather have a more experienced defender standing between Amed Rosario and whomever is playing first base on a given day.
Nevertheless, according to SNY contributor Andy Martino, talks between Frazier and the Mets have advanced from where they were at the start of the offseason. Frazier recently acknowledged that he would like to a sign a multi-year deal and that he and his agent have been in contact with the Mets and Yankees, according to the NY Post's Kevin Kernan.
"I have the options to do what I want to do," Frazier told Kernan. "I'm prepared for anything."
Frazier brings a lot of value to teams like the Mets and Yankees, who have mostly young rosters and remain in need of a veteran, 'glue guy,' as they say. The thing is, while Frazier is talking to teams about all sorts of contract terms, and while he's pitching himself as being able to play third, first and second base, free-agent 3B Mike Moustakas and Eduardo Nunez are also available on the open market.
And, the fact is, whether fans want to agree or not, I don't think teams interested in these guys see a huge difference in upside between Frazier and Moustakas, who is still seeking a multi-year contract. I also hear every team interested in him believes that, if Moustakas is going to take a one-year contract, he's far more likely to do it with the Royals than relocate some place new.
The other option for a team like the Mets would be to offer Moustakas a deal structured similarly to what they first gave to Yoenis Cespedes, i.e., a three-year deal with an opt-out clause following the first season. In that case, Moustakas has some security, but still has the option to role the dice and be in the same free-agent market one year from now with Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado. Or, he can not opt out, remain in place for two seasons and at 32 years old likely be the best free-agent third baseman after the 2020 season.
Or, the interested team can just sign Frazier for fewer money and years, get the better defender at third base (per the metrics) and more or less the same level of power in the batter's box. I don't know how any of this will end up, but it has to end at some point, right?
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. He recently left his position as Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for SNY.TV to help sports brands build their own digital content businesses...