MLB Trade Rumor Buy or Sell: Todd Frazier to Red Sox is 'almost inevitable'
Ken Rosenthal says Todd Frazier to Boston makes too much sense not to happen
Welcome to CBSSports.com's Rumor Buy Or Sell. With the July 31 trade deadline slowly approaching, we'll break down select trade rumors that come your way during the summer months.
The Rumor: In Ken Rosenthal's most recent video dispatch on all things trade deadline, he calls a Red Sox deal for White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier "almost inevitable."
Frazier's indeed a reliable source of right-handed power, and the White Sox are certainly in sell mode. Frazier's also due to become a free agent this upcoming winter, and expiring contracts on non-contending rosters are always ripe to be moved.
The Background: Boston indeed needs help at the hot corner. This season, Red Sox third basemen have combined to hit just .233/.287/.335. Pablo Sandoval of course contributed significantly to that overall line, and his performance was such that the Sox with $50 million or so left on his contract. As Rosenthal notes, the Sox simply aren't likely to "status quo" this problem. The in-house solutions presently on the roster don't project as significant upgrades, and Brock Holt, who'll soon return from vertigo, isn't exactly a known quantity right about now. A call-up of top prospect Rafael Devers would certainly be a defensible decision, but by all accounts the Sox don't want to rush him.
Team president Dave Dombrowski has a long (and generally successful history) of flipping long-term assets for near-term upgrades in the service of a deep postseason run. That's certainly been his tack since taking over the reins in Boston. With the Sox now charting for more than 90 wins and beginning to eke out some separation from the remainder of the AL East, Dombrowski's likely thinking about making roster improvements with an eye toward October. On that front, Frazier would indeed fit that bill. He got off to a slow start to the season, but since June 1 he's put up a line of .242/.370/.525 with nine homers in 35 games. Since the start of the 2014 season, Frazier's hit 120 home runs, and there's little doubt that his pull power ...
... would play well in Fenway. As noted, Frazier's also in his walk year, which means he wouldn't be around to block Devers in 2018 (assuming no one's able to pry Devers away leading up to the trade deadline).
The Verdict: Buy. First and foremost, Rosenthal reads the tea leaves better than pretty much anyone when it comes to matters such as these. Second, there's a defined need, Frazier fills it, and Dombrowski has an established track record of making these kinds of moves. Beyond that, Dombrowski and White Sox GM Rick Hahn, as proved by the Chris Sale blockbuster of this past winter, have a recent history of working on this kind of buyer-seller swap.
Boston certainly doesn't want to part with Devers, and the system's been thinned out by recent deals for Sale, Craig Kimbrel, and others. However, Frazier's not a genuine superstar, and he's a 31-year-old who's four months or so from free agency. As such, he's not likely to command a huge haul in trade. Boston has the prospects to get it done while also retaining Devers for 2018 and beyond.
There aren't a lot of certainties when it comes to trades this time of year, but, yeah, Frazier to Boston does indeed have a whiff of the inevitable about it.
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