Todd Frazier trade rumors are expected to pick up soon as the Chicago White Sox continue to field offers for the power-hitting third baseman. It was during the last MLB off-season when the White Sox agreed to a deal with the Cincinnati Reds to acquire Frazier. A report by MLB.com relayed the shocking news, as the White Sox sent Micah Johnson, outfielder Trayce Thompson, and right-handed pitcher Frankie Montas to the Los Angeles Dodgers to complete the three-team deal.
In one season with the White Sox, Todd Frazier had 40 home runs, 98 RBIs, and 89 runs scored. His batting average dipped to just 0.225, though, with an increased rate of strikeouts that may have some teams thinking twice about acquiring him. Frazier had a career-high 163 strikeouts in the 2016 MLB season, far surpassing his previous high of 139 with the Cincinnati Reds in 2014. That rate drove down both his batting average and on-base percentage, possibly giving the perception of a “free-swinging” hitter just looking for more home runs.
There are a couple reasons why there continues to be a high number of Todd Frazier trade rumors. At the top of that list is the current “fire sale” that the Chicago White Sox have been carrying out. The team already traded starting pitcher Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox and outfielder Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals. The front office is also in the process of fielding trade offers for pitcher Jose Quintana and first baseman Jose Abreu. It is very clear that the 2017 White Sox roster is going to look a bit different.
The other reason that Frazier keeps popping up in trade rumors is that he is entering the final season of his current contract. Frazier is slated to earn $8.25 million for the 2017 MLB season before entering free agency. That’s a very affordable contract for a power-hitting third baseman, especially since it doesn’t come with the risks a long-term salary could convey. It boils down to Frazier being a rental, so any team dealing with the White Sox is not willing to give up the top-tier prospects it took to acquire Sale and Eaton.
A previous report by ESPN analyst Jerry Crasnick about Todd Frazier trade rumors stated that the Los Angeles Dodgers had expressed interest in acquiring him from the White Sox. It’s not clear how far the negotiations progressed, but the Dodgers may have lost interest when the team locked Justin Turner into a new contract. This may have completely removed the Dodgers from the rumors, but it does show that the White Sox had been previously engaged in talks to deal the best home run hitter on the roster.
There are still a number of teams trying to improve on offense this off-season. The Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees, and Seattle Mariners keep popping up in rumors about power hitters that could sign in free agency or get acquired through a trade. If the Orioles lost Mark Trumbo to free agency, Frazier might be the type of hitter that the team could trade for and place at first base. Likewise, several other teams could use Frazier at first base, third base, or in a designated hitter slot.
When Frazier came up for the Reds, he was also used in left field and right field before he settled in as the primary third baseman for the team. It’s possible that a new team could look at converting him to a corner outfielder if his other positions are already filled. If the Chicago White Sox don’t find a good deal before Spring Training, it could lead to a season of constant Todd Frazier trade rumors as the team tries to increase his value before the July trade deadline.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]