All Mets players are expected to be in Port St. Lucie by Feb. 16, but veteran Todd Frazier has gotten a headstart as he was seen getting some swings and field work in on Tuesday.
Normally for an established veteran, spring training is a month of preparation to get the kinks and rust of the offseason out, and prime for the grind of the regular season. But, for Frazier, this spring training will be a true fight for his job at third base with the infield depth new Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen brought to the team.
The first was Robinson Cano in Van Wagenen's first big move in his new role, and then Jed Lowrie came later on this offseason. Add in J.D Davis, and Frazier has some good competition in the hot corner.
It is because of this logjam at third that the Mets have discussed Frazier possibly playing first base this season, which he admitted after his workout was the case.
"I have had discussions about it but it's nothing set in stone," the 32-year-old Frazier said. "We gotta see how spring training goes. Every man's gotta earn their job from top to bottom, and basically Jacob deGrom is the only one that doesn't because we know what he's doing. He's the Cy Young Award winner. If he's not starting, we're in trouble."
But, with top prospect Peter Alonso and Dom Smith also vying at first, Frazier will have to fight for the starting job no matter what position he plays.
Last season, Frazier was forced to miss 47 games due to injuries including a hamstring strain and "little rib muscle pull," as he put it back in July. Because he missed a good chunk of games, Frazier said led to his .213/.303/.309 slash line last season, which are all career worsts. He also hit 18 homers, his worst in that category since his rookie season back in 2011.
A bounce-back season is what Frazier has in mind as the spring begins, and he is confident he can get it done.
"Yeah, without a doubt," Frazier said. "Numbers would've been totally different if that didn't happen, but I think everybody has one of those years."
But depth on the roster is exactly what Van Wagenen wanted to create this offseason, and manager Mickey Callaway will have several options to choose from in his infield. Frazier knows that is the case, and he will be fighting hard alongside his teammates in the coming weeks to show the Mets he is healthy and not the same player he was a year ago.
At the end of the day, though, wins during the regular season no matter what the lineup looks like is the main goal.
"So we see what we're capable of, we see what we can do and like we talk about all the time, the pitching staff keeps us in games and I think we got the core guys now that Brodie stepped up to the plate and helped New York out here a little bit," he explained. We're focused on winning again."