What Would Make Todd Frazier Worth It?


On Monday morning Jon Heyman wrote a story on the trade market for Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier, saying it's starting to "heat up."

In his story, Heyman talks about both the White Sox and Indians being interested in Frazier, which doesn't come as a surprise. Both teams were connected to Frazier during the Winter Meetings, with both reportedly feeling that the asking price was too high.

Personally, I can't help but feel that Heyman's source for the story is likely coming from the Reds side of the equation. I'd guess that they aren't all that thrilled with how the market for Frazier is developing, and they're hoping by telling someone things are heating up, maybe they can entice the Sox or Indians to up their offers.

But this is not what I'm here to write about today. I just started wondering what I'd be willing to give up for Frazier, and what would make him worth it. And then I asked you what you'd be willing to give up.

Specifically, would you want to give up Tim Anderson for Frazier?

The results were what I expected. The majority are against the idea, and I get it. For years the White Sox traded their prospects for veterans, and it worked in 2005, and helped them win a division in 2008, but that same approach is also a key factor in why the Sox have lost so many games in recent years.

Frazier would certainly be a large upgrade over everything the Sox have at third, and would allow them to move Brett Lawrie to second base, providing a major offensive upgrade at second base over Carlos Sanchez. This could also "solve" the shortstop question, because if you have an infield with Frazier, Lawrie and Jose Abreu, you can afford to have Tyler Saladino as nothing but a defensive player at short. Theoretically, anyway.

The problem is that Frazier may be an upgrade, but he's no sure thing. His power numbers peaked last season, but his average and OBP crashed, and he only has a career OBP of .321 to begin with. Not the best trends for somebody turning 30 next month, and you'd have Frazier for two years before he became a free agent.

Giving up on Tim Anderson may not be worth what you get, but there's another side to that coin.

But, on the other side of that coin, Tim Anderson could just prove to be the next Mike Caruso, or Josh Fields, or Jerry Owens, or Joe Borchard.

Still, the enticing appeal of the unknown will always be a draw until we actually see it fail in front of our own eyes.

I do have an idea, though. One that could make the idea of trading Anderson a lot more palatable.

What if the White Sox agreed to give the Reds Anderson for Frazier, but the Reds had to take on Adam LaRoche as well? Not the entire contract, but if the Sox have reportedly been willing to eat some of LaRoche's deal in trades already this winter.

So the Sox pawn off LaRoche with Anderson, get Frazier, and then use that money they save on LaRoche toward signing a Justin Upton or a Yoenis Cespedes. Then you're essentially trading Tim Anderson for both Todd Frazier and middle-of-the-order power bat.

It becomes a lot easier to swallow then, doesn't it?

Comments

  1. Great piece, but I'm not sure how much I agree with the assertion that trading our top prospects for veterans has really hurt us in the past 5 years. Were there any prospects that were dealt that have turned out to be building blocks on another team? Being consistently average has hurt our draft position, but I can't recall any prospects who have really thrived anywhere else (but I could just be forgetting somebody)

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    1. It's not specific prospects that have burned us, but rather the approach overall. The Sox neglected the importance of the farm system for too long, thinking they could just spend/trade their way out of any potential problems. But eventually you don't have anybody left to trade, and when you make a bad trade/signing, you don't have a cheap and effective replacement ready to take its place. So you're in a spot where you're signing guys like Adam LaRoche as stop gaps.

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  2. Not a terrible idea. Its kind of disturbing to think that 5 million is the difference between signing one of the big bats. Relative to those contracts, 5 million wouldn't matter. They could also backload it beyond 2016.

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  3. With the way the White Sox develop hitting, Tim Anderson has a better chance of being the next Gordon Beckham rather than the next Carlos Correa.

    TRADE FOR FRAZIER

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  4. I love the idea of a homegrown SS, but if you tell me that next year the Sox could boast 1-4 hitters of Eaton, Abreu, Frazier and Upton? I'd be really happy. Moving LaRoche allows Trayce Thompson to play CF with Eaton to LF and Melky to DH or Upton/Yo. Defensive specialists at CF AND SS I cam live with.

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  5. Tom, honestly if I'm the White Sox, I go to the Reds and give them my best offer without Anderson and Fulmer (Avi, Montas, Micah and Adams) and tell them this offer stands for 72 hours. Just my opinion. Trading away possible franchise SS isn't a good idea unless you are getting an ACE or a bonafide all around offensive threat. (Frazier is not that) Plus he only has two years left and he probably won't be worth signing to another contract after those two years.

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  6. I'd probably hold on to Anderson but he's no sure thing. What concerns me beyond the shaky glove is the BB/K rate. As in he doesn't walk like at all. And he strikes out a lot. We have too many of these guys and need some that can work counts and get on base. Getting rid of Flowers and Alexei is a good start.

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