Why Teams Should Target Todd Frazier Over Evan Longoria
Former New York Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier is an enigma in my mind. He’s likely an enigma to MLB teams as well. On the one hand, the nearly 32-year-old third baseman looks like a goober, and has a tendency to hit homers like the one in the ALCS where he just gets the barrel on the ball and it goes out of the park. The results don’t match the eye test. He’s impossible to know, for sure, and the 2015/2016 HR totals of 35/ 40 sure seem like a mirage. But he’s a free agent this offseason and the general consensus is that he’s a just-fine player likely to get a multi-year deal for a reasonable salary. He’s not the best third baseman, but he’s good enough to not be bad for the next few years.
Dave Cameron, of Fangraphs, just penned an article about how the trade market might be well positioned for potential buyers at third base to get a good deal. His thesis is that the free agent options at third base aren’t all that compelling, the contenders for next year are mostly set at third base, and that potential sellers might be motivated to sell this offseason before star-third baseman Manny Machado is made available by the Orioles. (The O’s strategy for Manny Machado is another post for another day.) He mentions Evan Longoria and Josh Donaldson as potential trade targets, as both the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays have indicated their willingness to deal their respective third baseman. I’m most interested in Longoria. Donaldson is the superstar rental; understanding his leg kick is fairly straightforward.
Who is Evan Longoria now? He’s no longer making the lists of highest trade value, as he was in 2013. He’s a 32 year old third baseman under contract for at least the next 5 years, and potentially 6. His total compensation over the next 5-6 years is somewhere between 85.5 and 93.5 Million, depending on if that 6th year team option is picked up. It’s not a terrible contract, but it’s not a great one either. As for Longoria-the-player, he’s pretty good, but not a great one. Not anymore.