Kuty: Yankees, Todd Frazier Maintain Mutual Interest; Finances May Complicate Deal

There is still interest between the Yankees and infielder Todd Frazier, according to a report from NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty. He notes that the 31-year-old “has continued to speak with multiple clubs”.

Kuty spoke with two sources that knew of Frazier’s talks with the Yankees:

“The team’s mission to stay beneath the $197-million payroll luxury tax threshold for the 2018 season has kept the sides from speaking much this offseason, according to one of the sources,” Kuty wrote.

Frazier came to the Yankees prior to the trade deadline alongside right-handed relievers Tommy Kahnle and David Robertson. Initially viewed by many as a throw-in, he provided a strong clubhouse presence and energy to the already successful Bronx Bombers. He anchored third base defensively, where Fangraphs says he saved 10 runs.

His career has been marked by a lower batting average, but a solid on-base percentage and slugging percentage. The Toms River, New Jersey, native slashed .222/.365/.423 in 66 games after coming to the Bronx. He added 11 home runs and 32 RBIs, and walked at a 14.5% rate. The postseason was not kind to Frazier, however, where he slashed just .186/.255/.302.

The Yankees certainly have a reason to stay in touch with Frazier, even though his desire for a multi-year deal is a difficult obstacle. With no changes to the current roster, the Yankees are looking at filling both second base and third base with young players who have never been full-time MLB starters. Regaining Frazier’s veteran presence would help younger players, while also taking the pressure off of them.

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“At the end of the day, I just want to play baseball. I would love to play for the Yankees. I would love to play for any team,” Frazier said to Kuty Dec. 16. “Like I said, we’ve been talking. My agency has been doing a heck of a job talking to a lot of teams for me. We’ve got a lot of great talks and hopefully at the end, something comes to fruition soon.”

Frazier, who has experience at first base, second base, shortstop, left field and right field also, indicated that he was willing to suit up at another position to help a team win. He was ranked as the No. 17 free agent by MLBTradeRumors, and predicted he would sign a three-year, $33 million deal with the New York Mets.

If his market does not develop for some reason, Frazier fits perfectly in the Bronx on a one-year deal. His veteran presence and willingness to play all over the diamond would be invaluable to the youthful Yankees squad.

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