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Padres Trade Second Baseman Adam Frazier to the Mariners

Chicago Cubs

So far, this offseason has been all about the pitching side of the free agent market, but now that the Mets have signed three position players, including a big one in Starling Marte, that side of the stove is heating up too. And it’s not just free agency. The San Diego Padres have traded second baseman Adam Frazier to the Mariners for a pair of minor leaguers.

And you immediately wonder about what may come next for San Diego:

Ray Kerr is an older reliever who hasn’t yet debuted in the big leagues, but did post huge strikeout numbers in (effectively) his first shots at Double-A and Triple-A earlier this year. He throws hard (100 MPH), he’s a lefty, and he might be able to contribute as soon as this season – I’m sure the Padres are counting on that.

Corey Rosier, the truer prospect in the deal, was a 12th round pick in 2021, but is playing like a late-round steal so far. He absolutely destroyed A-ball as a rookie this year, posting a .390/.461/.585 (171 wRC+) slash line with converging strikeout and walk rates. All told, this is a pretty nice return for Frazier, who was a 3.5 WAR player in 2021, but had a rough finish, and is under control via arbitration for just one more season – a little affordable, high-upside bullpen help for now (Kerr) and a nice prospect playing well in the lower minors for later (Rosier).

*The Padres grabbed Frazier at the deadline. He was an All-Star caliber bat before the trade (128 wRC+), but a well below average one for the Padres (85 wRC+). 

I bring all that up, however, because this deal might be less about the return and more about clearing Adam Frazier (and his estimated $7.2M salary) off the books and off the infield for 2022. Now, depending on how they want to shuffle their infielders, the Padres theoretically have the ability to add a potentially more impactful infield bat at second or maybe third base. There are some interesting options on the market, they have a win-now lineup, and just added a new, pricy manager. If they can afford it, keeping their foot on the gas makes a whole lot of sense.

So again, while this deal provided a perfectly fine return, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Padres were simply setting up their next move. And because the CBA expiration has turned December 1st into a pseudo deadline for some free agents, they may have been forced to make their moves sooner than later. Keep an eye on them in the positional free agent market over the next couple days.



Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami