The New York Mets signed Todd Frazier to a two-year, $17 million deal. In the real baseball world, the signing is perplexing. In the fantasy realm, it just creates a bunch of “ifs” with no real winners.
The nearly 32-year-old Frazier, who batted .213/.344/.428 with 27 homers last year, has been a useful late-round fantasy third baseman. It’s just tough to know how to project him because he seems to reinvent himself every couple of seasons. In 2014, he decided to start stealing bases (20 SB). In 2015, he went all flyball with a 10%-point jump in flyball rate. Last season, he decided to develop some plate discipline with his strikeout rate dropping from 25% to 22% and his walk rate going from 10% to 14%. Maybe this season he’ll try to improve his batting average, which has been on a three-year decline (.273 to .255 to .225 to .213). Who knows. Fantasy owners should pay for a .230 batting average and 25-homer baseline, and anything else he provides is gravy.
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Frazier will be the Mets’ starting third baseman, a role that was slated for Asdrubal Cabera. Cabrera now moves to second base. Wilmer Flores, Jose Reyes, and Gavin Cecchini are now all without opportunity, as Amed Rosario is set to be the starting shortstop. The real loser is Flores, who is projected by wOBA to be better than anyone else the Mets would start at any infield spot. This signing is a typical Mets move, as they spent money to get worse.
I’d like to assume the Mets will trade one of their surplus pieces, but who knows what they’ll do. If I’m drafting now, I’m likely just to stay away from the entire situation. It’s tough to roster borderline talent when the playing-time situation is unclear.
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