The signing of free-agent third baseman Todd Frazier deserves a standing ovation because it was the move the New York Mets needed to make.
Frazier, who is from Toms River, NJ, is beyond ecstatic that he is staying in New York and playing with the Mets.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am to be playing for the Mets,” he said, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. “This is my home. I belong in New York.”
Frazier joins the Mets at a bargain, making $8.5 million a season. After signing Jay Bruce, Frazier, and Anthony Swarzak, re-signing Jose Reyes, and adding first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the mix, the Mets have only spent about $72.5 million this offseason, according to James Wagner of the New York Times.
Frazier is a great addition to the Mets and he’ll be a huge help to them. Last year he hit .213 with 27 home runs and 76 RBIs with a career-best .344 on-base percentage. He hit .222 with 11 homers as a New York Yankee, where he found himself in July. While his batting average is less than the Mets third basemen’s combined batting average last year, (Mets third basemen hit .269/.315/.413 last year), the Toms River native will be a huge help offensively. He is a power hitter, having hit 102 home runs in the last three season. He also gets on base a lot as his career on-base percentage shows and he can run the bases fairly effectively. The Mets were 10th in the National League in on-base percentage last year, so Frazier can certainly help them be better in that aspect.
Frazier will also be a huge help defensively. Over the last five seasons, he has a Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) of 5, 7, 6, -2, and 10. His overall defensive rating of 6.3 is tied for seventh among qualified third baseman. His DRS of 10 last year was the fourth best at third base.
New Mets manager Mickey Callaway has praised Frazier for what he can do offensively and defensively.
“He’s a great defender,’’ Mets manager Mickey Callaway said, per Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. “He’s a great baserunner, too. He can really, really run the bases. Every time we’d go into town and played him, our bench coach, who controlled the running game, would come up to me and say, ‘We’ve got to make sure to keep Frazier close at first, he gets that running lead.’ He puts pressure on the other team.’’
Callaway added, “He’s a baseball player. And you know what he did at the end of the season when we were preparing to play the Yankees, he made some adjustments at the plate. He stopped chasing balls. He stopped trying to go down there and flick that ball to left, he was laying off balls that he was going after in the past. You look at his average (.213), but that’s going to change if he continues to do what he did the last month of the season. And he can hit some home runs.’’
While Yankees fans might not be happy that the Toddfather has gone to the Mets, one Mets fan Gary Dunaier has no problems with it.
Dunaier, also was known as “thumbs-down guy,” became an overnight sensation last September when the New York Yankees played at Citi Field after Hurricane Irma. Frazier hit a three-run home run in that game and Dunaier showed his disapproval by giving him the thumbs-down sign. The thumbs-down sign became a rallying cry for the Yankees as they came up just short of making the World Series. However, Dunaier will now give Frazier a thumbs-up.
“It’s a whole new chapter in the wonderful world of thumbs down,’’ Dunaier told Steven Marcus of Newsday. “I think it’s great that Todd Frazier is going to be playing with the Mets and I’m certainly looking forward to him motivating his new teammates like he did last year.’’
Overall the Mets get a thumbs-up for signing Frazier. He will help them where they need the most help, both offensively and defensively at third base. Mets fans might not like it now but soon enough, they’ll realize just how great the Frazier signing is.