Texas Rangers rumors: Todd Frazier has agreed to terms on a one year deal with the Rangers, per multiple reports. It is reportedly a deal for $3.5 million in 2020, with a $5.75 million club option for 2021 with a $1.5 million buyout.
I’ve been saying all offseason Frazier was a great fit for this team, given the Rangers needs and Frazier’s likely price, and so this deal pleases me. Frazier is a righthanded bat who is a solid defender at third base and who can also play first base. He had a 106 wRC+ last year, and Steamer projects him to put up a 100 wRC+ next year.
Frazier was a solid 3-5 win player earlier in his career. Now, turning 34 in February, he’s an average major league starter at best. But the Rangers, as currently constituted, need a righthanded bat who can play the corner infield spots while being average at best, particularly on a contract this cheap.
With Frazier and Robinson Chirinos in the fold, the Rangers’ projected payroll is around $150 million for 2020. They have payroll room to add a Nolan Arenado, or a Josh Donaldson, or a Jackie Bradley Jr., to further solidify the lineup. If Texas signs a big time third baseman, Frazier likely will play first base, either sharing time in a platoon role or as a starter. If they don’t, he’s likely the everyday third baseman for 2020.
As someone who has pushed for Frazier, I feel an obligation to make clear that this is not risk free. Frazier has had injury issues with the New York Mets the last couple of years. He could struggle to stay healthy. He could stay healthy but not hit. He could slow down defensively and not be as viable on the field at third. There’s risk the Rangers get little to nothing from him this coming year.
But as a guy who can fill a couple of possible roles, and who can be a righthanded role player at a couple of positions of need for a Ranger team that needs righty bats, he’s a nice, cheap, low-risk pickup.