The Red Sox and White Sox are “in talks” on third baseman Todd Frazier, tweets Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Heyman notes that there’s nothing known to be done yet but adds that something could come together “fairly soon.” For what it’s worth, Frazier was announced as a healthy scratch from tonight’s lineup, which further lends credence to the notion that something could come together. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported over the weekend that the two sides had begun to move closer to a Frazier swap.
The 31-year-old Frazier is set to hit free agency at season’s end, and while his production this year hasn’t been up to par, he’s turned things on since the the calendar flipped to June. Over his past 37 games, Frazier has batted .234/.361/.508 with nine homers and eight doubles — all of which would be a mammoth upgrade over the woeful production that Boston has received at the hot corner this season. To date, Boston third baseman have collectively posted a miserable .227/.281/.325 batting line through 359 plate appearances.
Overall, Frazier’s .207/.328/.432 slash line is hardly eye-popping, but he’s also shown some positive indicators that point toward positive regression. He’s upped his walk rate to a career-high 14.3 percent in 2017 while also cutting his strikeout rate by more than three percent — from 24.5 percent in 2016 to 21.2 percent in 2017. Beyond that, Frazier has cut his infield-fly rate and seen increases in his line-drive and hard-contact rates. As such, it stands to reason that he could continue to improve upon a .214 batting average on balls in play that is currently the second-worst mark among all qualified Major League hitters.