Prior to being dealt to the White Sox, third baseman Todd Frazier sought to reach agreement with the Reds on a deal to stay in Cincinnati for the long haul, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports (Twitter links). Frazier was ultimate swapped in a three-team trade that brought Jose Peraza, Scott Schebler, and Brandon Dixon in from the Dodgers.
According to Heyman’s report, Frazier and his representatives at CAA “made many proposals” to the Reds, one of which looked something like the seven-year, $100MM pact between the Mariners and Kyle Seager. Indeed, Frazier met with ownership just before he was dealt in an effort to find a way to add years to his contract and stick with the Reds.
Certainly, it isn’t surprising that the organization decided it was time to move on. While some have criticized the quality of the return, the decision to part with Frazier — a 30-year-old who is set to reach free agency after the 2017 campaign — made sense for a team in transition. It certainly would have been difficult to take on another significant contract for an older player with so much already committed to pieces like Joey Votto and Homer Bailey.
It’s obviously not entirely clear what kind of arrangement Frazier might have settled for, but the Seager comp doesn’t exactly scream value. To be sure, the veteran has largely matched the production of his competitor in Seattle over the last couple of seasons. But Frazier is also about three years older than Seager was at the time of his deal, and the latter’s extra year of control doesn’t really close the gap all the way.
The report is mostly of historical interest now, of course, as Frazier is under control of the White Sox until qualifying for free agency before the 2018 campaign. But the information about Frazier’s price point and interest in a long-term deal could certainly become relevant again if the Sox are more inclined than were the Reds in a significant extension.