The Seattle Mariners have addressed their second baseman position. The club has acquired All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier from the San Diego Padres for a pair of minor leaguers, lefty Ray Kerr and outfielder Corey Rosier, the team announced Sunday afternoon.
Frazier, 29, joined San Diego in a deadline deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates this past season, though he never really settled in with the Padres. He hit .324/.388/.448 with four homers in 98 games with Pittsburgh before the trade and .267/.327/.335 with one homer in 57 games with San Diego after the trade. From 2019-20, Frazier hit .256/.325/.402 in 210 games with the Pirates.
Although he has experience in left field, Frazier fits best at second base, where the Mariners have had a revolving door since trading Robinson Canó three years ago. Frazier allows trade deadline pickup Abraham Toro to slide over to second base, his natural position. Their regular lineup could look something like this:
- 2B Adam Frazier
- SS JP Crawford
- RF Mitch Haniger
- 1B Ty France
- CF Kyle Lewis
- LF Jarred Kelenic
- 3B Abraham Toro
- DH Jake Fraley
- C Tom Murphy
Clearly, there is still room for an improvement with that lineup -- the Mariners could use a big DH bat to slot into the cleanup spot, most notably -- but that's not a pushover offense either. Seattle also has top prospect Julio Rodríguez coming and he projects to be a legitimate middle of the lineup hitter. The offense is not elite yet but it is on the upswing.
At 10.8 percent, Frazier had the fourth lowest strikeout rate in baseball this past season, so he brings a much-needed contact element to a Mariners team that had the fourth highest strikeout rate in the game (24.8 percent). Also, Frazier will be a free agent next offseason, it should be noted. Without an extension, he can test the open market one year from now.
As for the Padres, they have quickly moved on from a player who had a tough time fitting into the roster this season, and they recoup two prospects after dipping deep into their farm system to make trades the last few years. MLB.com does not rank Kerr, a Triple-A reliever, or Rosier, Seattle's 12th round pick in 2021, among the Mariners' top 30 prospects, however.
The Mariners won 90 games and were in the wild card race right down to the final weekend this past season, and they're expected to spend big this offseason in hopes of taking another step forward in 2022. The Padres had an extremely disappointing 2021. They went 79-83 after going into the year as a World Series contender.