Frazier hit a home run Sunday in his Grapefruit League debut with the Pirates. The 35-year-old, who served as the team's designated hitter, is expected to compete with Colin Moran for playing time at first base. Frazier's best chance to see the field is likely against left-handed pitching.
Frazier's path to playing time is most likely as the right-handed portion of a first base platoon with the left-handed-hitting Colin Moran, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Although Frazier has primarily served as a third baseman throughout his career, the team's brightest prospect, Ke'Bryan Hayes, figures to see the bulk of playing time at the hot corner this year. Frazier has totaled 113 games at first base. Last year, he hit .343 against southpaws in 43 at-bats. While his roster spot isn't guaranteed off a minor-league deal, his main competition is the likes of Will Craig and the versatile Phillip Evans. As such, Frazier could prove to be a viable streaming option. He holds a career slash line at PNC Park of .307/.379/.553 with eight home runs, but of course that came against Pirates pitching.
Frazier signed a minor-league deal with the Pirates on Friday that includes an invitation to major-league spring training, Kevin Williams of Shore Sports Network reports. The 35-year-old will join his fifth team in the past five years. Frazier had a .236/.302/.382 slash line with four homers in 172 plate appearances between the Mets and Rangers in 2020. He'll likely be a bench option in the corner infield spots if he manages to make the Opening Day roster, but the team does have a vacancy at first base after trading Josh Bell in the offseason.
The Mets plan to decline Frazier's team contract option Wednesday, Tim Healey of Newsday reports. Frazier was traded from the Rangers to the Mets in August of 2020, but he'll now search for a new club after his contract was bought out by New York for $1.5 million. The 34-year-old had a career-worst .684 OPS with four home runs and 12 RBI in 2020, and he'll likely have to settle for a part-time role to begin the 2021 campaign.
Frazier isn't starting Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Nationals. Frazier was slated to play a bench role for Friday's contest before it was rained out, and he'll remain out of the lineup for the first game of Saturday's twin bill. Luis Guillorme will serve as the third baseman during the matinee.