Mets Should Obtain Clint Frazier
With the deadline to protect Rule 5 players, you’ll typically see some shocking moves. The New York Yankees designating Clint Frazier ranks as a shocking move.
While shocking, it probably wasn’t all that surprising. It never really worked for him with the Yankees, and there are questions about whether he’s really recovered from his concussions and/or if he had other neurological issues.
id love to have the opportunity to talk about this situation publicly and probably plan to do so soon — my issues have been very personal to me and something i've wanted to handle privately but there's been a lot of inaccurate things reported about my injury that i'll clear up. https://t.co/4Ju9ZGUhcA
— Clint Frazier (@clintfrazier) October 11, 2021
Whatever the case, Frazier’s time with the Yankees appears to be over, and he will be with a new organization in 2022. That organization should be the New York Mets.
As constituted, the Mets only have Brandon Nimmo as an outfielder right now. Perhaps, depending on what they do this offseason, Jeff McNeil can slot back in left field. And no, once and for all Dominic Smith is not a LF.
In the minors, Khalil Lee is all the Mets have has Major League ready outfield depth. While we shouldn’t take away too much from an 11 game stint, he didn’t appear ready.
He looked overmatched for the most part. Certainly, he made improvements and should continue to improve. That said, he can’t be counted on as depth on Opening Day.
That’s what Frazier could be. He could be real depth for the Mets with upside. In some ways, he could provide the Mets with what Billy McKinney (another player designated for assignment) provided the Mets in 2021.
The two biggest positives with Frazier is he still hits the ball extremely hard, and his walk rate continues to improve. There is real offensive promise there, and a mixture of a new team, different analytical approach, and a new hitting coach could get Frazier to reach his potential.
On the latter two, we know the Mets are still addressing these needs. With the right people, the Mets could not only get the most out of Frazier, but really anyone on the team.
With Frazier, the bat isn’t the issue. There is enough to but in on the potential. That same probably can’t be said of the defense.
Aside from 2020, Frazier has put up a negative OAA. Part and parcel with that is Frazier’s decreasing spring speed. Even with improved positioning, it’s difficult to see how his defense would improve suddenly.
Of course, Frazier’s defense can improve, as we saw in 2020, but it’s difficult to see it improve to the point where he doesn’t hurt you everyday. With Frazier, that’s not an issue.
If the Mets got Frazier as a fourth outfielder, they can pick and choose his spots in the outfield. An even bigger benefit is he’s a right-handed bat who can complement what the Mets already have.
For this reason alone, this merits putting in a waiver claim on him. Perhaps, the Mets could swing a minor trade to endure they get him. In either event, there’s still real upside with Frazier, and the Mets could use another outfielder.
In the end, Frazier is very low risk with high reward. He’s well worth the gamble. That goes double for a Mets team which desperately needs outfielders.