A big league signing – almost any big league signing – after the past week feels like a dramatic event. Teams ARE still talking to players and they ARE still signing. Whew.
Here’s the first signing in a while:
#Mets in agreement with free-agent 3B Todd Frazier on two-year, $17M contract, sources tell The Athletic. Pending a physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 6, 2018
That’s the second multi-year positional signing of the offseason for the Mets, who also signed Jay Bruce to a three-year deal. Frazier could handle third base in David Wright’s expected absence, and he could also play at first base if Adrian Gonzalez isn’t magically resurgent.
Frazier, who turns 32 in a week, looked like he was going to be a big-time free agent just a couple years ago with the Reds. But his bat fell off in the last two years, and now he’s something of a bargain signing for the Mets. Still, he was worth 3.0 WAR last year splitting time between the White Sox and Yankees, so the Mets may have actually added a real boost here.
Will it be enough to push them to competitiveness against the Nationals in the East? Probably not, but it’s nice to see at least some team is trying. And hey, maybe the Mets pitching steps back up this year and makes a race of it. (The Yankees, by the way, were the other most logical spot for Frazier, but with them pinching pennies to stay under the luxury tax cap and maybe make a run at a starting pitcher, Frazier – even at this price – was too much, apparently.)
As for the market impact here, well, we may have seen our first “holy crap the offers for these guys really are tiny” signing. Because, yeah. Holy crap. Obviously it’s been slow, but so far this offseason, the signings have *generally* come in right around expected price tags. This very much was not.
Frazier was projected by FanGraphs (and the crowdsourcing) to get three years and $42 million. MLBTR had him at three years and $33 million. Jon Heyman had him at four years and $48 million, while his expert was at three years and $32 million. Whichever one you choose, this is the first signing of the offseason that was DRAMATICALLY lower than all of the projections.
That’s gonna get people talking, and it probably won’t be pretty. Sure, projections aren’t always on the money, but, given Frazier’s track record for power and generally good defense, the fact that he bounced back a bit in 2017 after a down 2016, and the fact that he’s not *that* old, I did think those three-year, $30+ million projections seemed pretty reasonable. So this is extremely low.
Maybe there was *some* discount built in for staying in New York:
Frazier, toms river, nj, product, made clear he wanted to be in NY. gets his wish crosstown with mets. @Ken_Rosenthal 1st
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 6, 2018