Ben Cherington and the Pittsburgh Pirates should look to trade infielder Adam Frazier this offseason
While the Pittsburgh Pirates were not very active at the MLB Winter Meetings, they were at the center of plenty of trade rumors. One of the team’s players whose name came up most in trade rumors was infielder Adam Frazier.
Frazier has been a mainstay with the Pirates dating back to 2016 when he made his MLB debut. After serving as a utility man for three seasons, Frazier became the team’s starting second baseman in 2019. It appears, however, that Frazier’s run in Pittsburgh is one that could soon be coming to an end.
Throughout last week’s Winter Meetings Frazier’s name was routinely popping up in trade rumors. So, while Frazier has not yet been traded it appears that there is a high possibility that he will be moved, and trading Frazier is a move that the Pirates should look to make.
Frazier is coming off the best all-around season of his career. In 2019 Frazier slashed .278/.336/.417 with a wRC+ of 97. For the first time in his career Frazier was a plus defensive player in 2019, posting a career high 2.2 fWAR in a career high 152 games.
With Frazier garnering trade interest this offseason the Pirates should look to strike and move Frazier. Offensively, he remains an average at best hitter. His wRC+ of 97 was just below the league average of 100, and his career wRC+ is just above league average at 103.
As an average at best hitter Frazier is not a key or irreplaceable member of the Pirate lineup. Additionally, by moving Frazier the Pirates can open up a spot for top infield prospect Cole Tucker.
During the 2019 season Kevin Newman burst onto the scene and locked down the team’s starting shortstop role. However, Newman can also play second base. Moving Newman to second base to make room at shortstop for Tucker is a move the Pirates should look to make.
While Tucker’s overall numbers in 2019 were not strong, he did finish the season strong. Overall, Tucker slashed .211/.266/.361 with a 61 wRC+. From May 25th through the end of the season, which included a trip back to Triple-A, Tucker was a different hitter. He slashed .286/.348/.492 during this stretch with a 118 wRC+. It is time for the Pirates to roll with Tucker on a daily basis and see what he can do.
Frazier is not part of the Pirate future. Tucker, however, could be. Due to this, the Pirates should look to trade Frazier and make room for Tucker.