The Texas Rangers and free-agent third baseman Todd Frazier have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, with a club option for 2021. The deal is pending a physical. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News first reported the two sides had agreed to terms on Sunday afternoon. The club has not confirmed the report.
Frazier is guaranteed $5 million with the deal. He will earn $3.5 million in 2020 and his club option for 2021 would pay him $5.75 million. The 2021 option comes with a $1.5 million buyout.
The Rangers have needed to address their hole at third base all winter long. Frazier is now expected to slide in as their starting third baseman for 2020.
Frazier is coming off a solid season with the Mets, where he slashed .251/.329/.443 and hit 21 home runs and drove in 67 runs. He also played solid defense at third base, owning a +1 Defensive Runs Saved and a .964 fielding percentage, which was above league average.
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The Rangers have talked to Colorado about trading for All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado. Adding Frazier makes it less likely Texas will land Arenado, though MLB Network's Jon Morosi reports the Rangers will still try to acquire the Colorado third baseman. Frazier has played some first base in the past, and he could easily move across the diamond and platoon with Ronald Guzman to make room for Arenado.
But even without Arenado, Frazier is a safe fallback option for the Rangers, after they had tried and failed to sign Anthony Rendon. They were also in the running to sign free agent Josh Donaldson, who reportedly wanted more money and years than they were comfortable giving a 34-year-old third baseman.
Frazier, who'll be 34 in a month, also gives the Rangers a much-needed righthanded power hitter to join a lineup with lefties Joey Gallo, Shin-Soo Choo and Willie Calhoun, among others. The Rangers currently have a full 40-man roster, so once Frazier's physical is completed, they will have to make room on the roster for him.
The team will need to do the same thing with catcher Robinson Chirinos, who agreed to terms with the Rangers last week.