Texas have been one of the most talked about teams this offseason, trading for Corey Kluber, and signing Jordan Lyles, Nick Goody, Robinson Chirinos and Kyle Gibson. They were also in the chase for Anthony Rendon before he joined their American League West foes the Los Angeles Angels.
Nolan Arenado, who has a full no-trade clause and an opt out after 2021, has been a target for the Rangers, too. Arenado is owed $234 million over the next seven years, providing he doesn’t opt out after next season.
Frazier, who has played some first in the past, would shift across the diamond if Arenado swaps Denver for Texas. Jon Morosi recently reported that the Rangers and St Louis Cardinals are frontrunners for the MVP candidate third baseman.
The Rangers were 24th in first base production and 28th from third last season, according to Baseball Reference’s Win Above Average. Frazier isn’t the blockbuster deal the Rangers have been angling for, but he’s an upgrade at either position.
A slugger with an OBP that hovers just over .300, Frazier has been above league average for much of his career and posted a 106 wRC+ last season, bouncing back from a 93 wRC+ in 2018. Texas will hope to get him back to his 2014 and 2015 performances with the Cincinnati Reds when he was an All-Star in back-to-back years.
Trying to win
Moving into their new park, it’s an exciting time to follow the Rangers. The farm might not be loaded, but ownership and the front office are showing a willingness to put a contender on the field in 2020 – not every fan base is lucky enough to have that.
The Frazier signing can’t be properly judged until we know who surrounds him. A middle of the order bat like Arenado, or one carrying a lesser reputation, will change the whole look of this Rangers ball club. For now, though, Frazier is a sensible addition, an upgrade, and a player that could have trade value at the deadline if the season doesn’t go as planned.