Because he fell off so thoroughly at Triple-A Iowa after the whole surprisingly-designated-for-assignment-and-outrighted thing earlier this year, I haven’t thought much about Jackson Frazier in the second half of the season.
Obviously the hope was that he would accept his assignment to Iowa, rake, and an opportunity would emerge at the big league level for him to win some more at bats. And if the opportunity didn’t come, but the bat was coming back around, maybe the sides would decide to stick together after the season for another minor league deal in 2023.
Well, it turns out, Frazier was definitely never thinking that. When the Cubs DFA’d him earlier this year while in New York – a move he described as “cold” – that was it for him. He knew he was done with the Cubs.
(Frazier told the Sun-Times) that he doesn’t see a future with the Cubs after this season, and that was clear to him as soon as the Cubs DFA’d him.
He accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Iowa after being DFA’d in mid-June because rejecting it would have meant forfeiting the remaining guaranteed money on his contract.
“Things happen, and I’m not really holding on to too much of what I’ve gone through already,” he said. “But, definitely, it was pretty clear whenever it happened what I was gonna do.”
Frazier wonders why the Cubs signed him in the first place if they weren’t going to give him much of a chance, saying that he had other options. As the first few months of the season played out, I had a lot of the same questions – it made no sense to me to constantly allocate playing time to Jason Heyward, for example, instead of coordinating the positions and playing time to see as much of Frazier as possible. To find out if there was anything there.
That said, given how things played out from there, it’s hard to argue that the Cubs were wrong in whatever internal evaluations they were making about Frazier’s likelihood of succeeding in the big leagues this year. Even with consistent opportunity and playing time, it probably wasn’t going to happen. As noted in the Sun-Times piece, Frazier needed work on his swing, and it hasn’t gotten any better as the year has gone on. And obviously the numbers at Iowa – .195/.287/.310/62 wRC+, 34.5% K – are jarring.
So, I guess that is to say, I understand why Frazier was upset by the DFA, I understand why he was sure it was over at that point, and I also suspect that the Cubs were right that it wasn’t going to happen in the big leagues this year (whether he played over Heyward or not).
Much more on Jackson Frazier and the Cubs here in the Sun-Times piece. It sounds like he’s hoping to get a winter ball shot from here, and then maybe he can get himself righted enough to find a job (minor league, probably) for 2023. No reason not to wish him well, even as it didn’t work out with the Cubs.