Jul 13, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; National League third baseman Todd Frazier (21) of the Cincinnati Reds watches his winning home run during the 2015 Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All Star Game at Great American Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Down the pipeline in Cincinnati Reds trade rumors…ESPN writer David Schoenfield listed five possible trade destinations for All-Star third basemen Todd Frazier, and the Cleveland Indians were No. 1 on his list.
The Indians have been looking for a reliable, power-hitting third basemen ever since Matt Williams last played with the Tribe in 1997.
But with the Reds on the verge of blowing the roster up, Todd Frazier could be available, and if the Indians’ front office could figure out a way to swing a deal, the “Todd Father” could be what the Indians need to finally get back to the World Series.
"“With Lonnie Chisenhall now a right fielder, Cleveland’s third baseman is Giovanny Urshela, who has a solid glove but hit .225/.279/.330 as a rookie. I keep hearing how the Indians have depth in their rotation but I don’t exactly agree with that. They have a nice top three with Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer has some upside as the No. 4, although he still walks too many and gives up too many homers. Cody Anderson and Josh Tomlin are the other options. Trading Carrasco or Salazar opens up a pretty big hole and suddenly if somebody gets injured, you don’t have the depth. I certainly wouldn’t trade Carrasco or Salazar for two years of Frazier.Joe suggested the Reds could be bold and ask for Bauer. That makes more sense, as the Reds gamble on Bauer putting it together and the Indians could then add a low-cost veteran for rotation depth. The Indians also have some interesting lower-level pitching prospects such as Rob Kaminsky and Justus Sheffield.”"
Now the question becomes: Is this a feasible move from the Indians’ point of view?
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The short answer is yes!
Frazier won’t be a free agent for two more years. Even without Bauer, the Tribe has the kind of staff that can pitch the team to the AL Pennant. With core players such as Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis in their prime, along with the emergence of shortstop Francisco Lindor, the Indians need to win now.
Additionally, Bauer has been incredibly inconsistent during his time with the Tribe. Just as it seems the UCLA product is about to figure the big leagues out, he struggles.
What kind of pitcher do the Indians have in Bauer. Tribe Town is patiently waiting to find out.
Check out these pre- and post-All-Star break splits for Bauer:
- 102 strikeouts before the break, and 68 after
- .218 opposing batting average before, .253 after
- 3.76 ERA before, 5.73 after
The most startling stat there is the earned run average. Bauer allowed almost two runs more per game in the second half.
With that said, Frazier had his own second-half woes. After winning the home-run derby in dramatic fashion, the Toddfather wasn’t the same player.
He hit .284 before the break, and .220 after. He hit 35 homers, but 25 of those came prior to the mid-summer classic.
Even taking this setback into consideration, Frazier’s now been an All-Star the past two years. He will be entering his age 30 season in 2015, so he’s still in his prime. On the flip side, Bauer is only 24. It wouldn’t be easy to see him finally break out and dominate the majors, especially if it’s down I-71 in Cincinnati.
Bauer becomes arbitration eligible after next season, and can’t be free agent until after the 2020 season, according to Sportrac.