Cleveland Indians trade rumors dominated the hot stove season when it was revealed the club was trying to acquire Todd Frazier from the Cincinnati. The Indians weren’t able to complete a deal, and are better off for it.
Tribe fans all offseason were clamoring for a big bat via trade all offseason. The most closely linked name of the group was Todd Frazier, who throughout the winter was a part of the Cincinatti Reds.
The 2015 Home Run Derby Champion third baseman represented a huge improvement over incumbent Gio Urshela and would have given Tribe fans some relief from their annual “The Dolans are Cheap” mantra. It’s tough not to look at Frazier, now with division rival the Chicago White Sox, and wonder what could have been.
I fully expected to check the stats and be blown away by how much better Frazier would have been than any Tribe third baseman. I cannot begin to say how surprised I was instead.
For Frazier, it’s been a mixed bag. His .211 batting average is actually worse than Juan Uribe‘s .222. Where the major difference between the two lies in their supporting stats. Frazier has already hit 11 home runs and driven in 31 RBI. Uribe’s lack of power has been a detriment to the offense in Cleveland, with only one home run and 5 RBI.
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In fact, Frazier leads in doubles (4 to 3), walks (15 to 10), and runs scored (22 to 2).
Frazier’s power from the right side would be a huge boost to the Indians line up, especially since Yan Gomes continues to struggle and Uribe’s stats aren’t any better. Even at DH, Carlos Santana has been a mixed bag of getting on base but not making near enough contact. Still, Frazier himself has struck out 28 times on the year and is still only hitting .211
With all of that said, can we admit that the front office made the right move in not trading a front-line pitcher for Todd Frazier? You can say that Carlos Carrasco, the likely candidate to have headed south on I-71, would have been the centerpiece of the deal, is injured. That makes the “deal” a wash. But as we’ve talked about on this site before, Carrasco’s injury in and of itself highlights why holding onto every arm we could was the right decision for this roster.
Additionally, Tribe fans were overwhelmed by Frazier’s first half stats in 2015, when he slashed .284 / .308 / .400 with 25 home runs and 57 RBI only to go for a line of .220 / .274 / .390 with 10 home runs and 32 RBI the rest of the way.
The first part of the 2016 season is proving out that post-All Star Todd Frazier is the real Todd Frazier. Is that person worth a Carlos Carrasco in today’s major leagues? His career makrs of .255 / .319 / .465 with 20 home runs and 59 RBI along aren’t worth that much, let alone one good half a season.
Be upset all you want that Juan Uribe isn’t hitting or that Frazier has far more power. This team needed to get more balanced and keep it’s elite starting pitching. Parting ways with the veritable co-ace of the rotation wasn’t going to bring back near enough of a return in the form of Frazier.
Tribe fans have been frustrated with this front office for a long time, but it’s hard to argue with them on this one.