The Milwaukee Brewers have non-tendered Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas will be with the Cincinnati Reds for the next four seasons. Should the Brewers look at Todd Frazier at third base?
The Brewers have gone from having too many third basemen to not having enough. Last off season, Brewers GM David Stearns assembled a clunky roster that forced Mike Moustakas to start the year at second base in order to allow Travis Shaw to stay at third base. One is guaranteed to play elsewhere next year, and the other doesn’t look like he’ll return to Milwaukee any time soon.
The team will have to look elsewhere to find a solution at third base. Could they end up with Todd Frazier at the hot corner in 2020?
How did Frazier perform in 2019?
Not terribly? Frazier managed a .251/.329/.443 slash line in 499 plate appearances for the New York Mets. He hit 21 homers, drove in 67 runs, scored 63 times, and stole one base in three attempts. It was a perfectly fine season from a counting perspective.
He did a perfectly cromulent job of manning third base on defense. He made seven fielding errors and five throwing errors in almost 1,000 innings at third last year.
What kind of deal would Frazier get?
Frazier will turn 34 years old before Opening Day 2020, so it’s unlikely a team will go beyond two years to secure his services. He just finished a two-year deal worth $17 million. A one-year deal in the $7 million-to-$10 million range sounds about right. His agent may even be able to talk a team into offering a second year with a lower average annual value.
Should the Brewers target Frazier?
They may not have a choice. It’s not clear if that’s good news or bad news.
While Anthony Rendon is the top option available at third base, he’s not a likely target for the Brewers. The team would almost assuredly have to sign Rendon to a deal in excess of six years long with an average annual value over $30 million. That’s not realistic for a team as cost conscious as the Brewers.
Josh Donaldson makes sense, but he’s even older than Frazier and will likely command more dollars. Brock Holt is also an option, but he’s never hit more than eight homers in a season at the Major League level. After that, the available options at third base start to get less appealing.
Unless Stearns comes up with an under-the-radar option that no one is talking about, Frazier may be the best option on the market that will match the Brewers budget and provide adequate production. He’ll be a drop off from Moustakas, but he’s capable enough and will allow the Brewers to spend elsewhere. It’s also not impossible that Stearns comes up with an under-the-radar option that no one is talking about.