Report: Todd Frazier, Mets Agree to 2-Year, $17M Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Todd Frazier #29 of the New York Yankees walks during the fourth inning against the Houston Astros in Game Three of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 16, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The New York Mets announced they have signed Todd Frazier to a two-year deal on Wednesday.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal first reported the agreement on Monday, noting the contract is worth $17 million.

Frazier only spent the second half of the 2017 season with the New York Yankees, but he left a big impression on the team as it made its run through the postseason. His thumbs-down celebration—adapted from the reaction of a New York Mets fan—became a staple for Yankees players.

A native of Toms River, New Jersey, Frazier also tweeted playing for the Yankees was a "dream come true" when the Chicago White Sox sent him to the Big Apple in July. The Yankees shared a photo of Frazier standing beside legendary shortstop Derek Jeter when the team honored Frazier's little league team in 1998:

The fact the Yankees didn't re-sign Frazier is somewhat surprising since they had freed up a starting spot at the hot corner by trading Chase Headley to the San Diego Padres.

Frazier's departure leaves the Yankees without many options at third base. Mike Moustakas remains available in free agency, or the team may envision Miguel Andujar making the jump to MLB full time in 2018.

The 31-year-old Frazier will provide power to the Mets lineup, having averaged almost 33 home runs a year since 2014—Frazier's first year as an All-Star. His 131 homers during that span are ninth-most in baseball.

Frazier has rarely hit for a high average, and he batted a career low (.213) in 2017. He did walk a career-high 83 times, and his .226 batting average on balls in play was second-worst in MLB, according to FanGraphs. Should he continue to be patient at the plate and get a little more luck in 2018, his average should climb closer to his career mark (.245).

The fact hitters cleared the fences at a historic rate in 2017 somewhat devalues the power Frazier provides. Sluggers such as Frazier have been hit hardest as a result of the power surge since the trend has neutralized their biggest advantage over other players. Chris Carter led the National League in home runs (41) in 2016 and was out of a job last season by mid-July.

That's not to say Frazier is sitting in a similarly precarious position but that his addition may not make the same kind of impact to New York's offense it might have two or three years ago.

Still, his arrival will please many Mets fans who had been angered by the team's lack of spending this offseason. Frazier is the Mets' second notable signing after they reunited with Jay Bruce on a three-year, $39 million contract.

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