The Pittsburgh Pirates let Todd Frazier know last week that he would not make the 26-man Opening Day roster. The club has brought him back.
The Pittsburgh Pirates made a choice last week to not put veteran infielder Todd Frazier on the 26-man Opening Day roster, leading him to opt out. It was a seemingly surprising move because of the veteran presence he would provide and how well he performed this Spring. The Pirates decided to go with the youth movement instead and Phillip Evans will make the Opening Day club instead.
Yesterday, Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington discussed how the club still had interest in Frazier remaining with the organization, which makes sense given how the third baseman and first baseman would have value as a player to provide depth but also one that has experience. He played with the rebuilding Texas Rangers a season ago, meaning he has that experience on playing for a club that won’t content and can serve as a mentor.
Despite opting out, it seems that Frazier could not find a club that would add him to their 26-man Opening Day lineup. As a result, he will be coming back to the Pittsburgh Pirates and will be with the club at their Alternate Site. This was first reported by Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:
This is big for the Pirates. Despite hitting just .236/.302/.382 last season, Frazier represents an upgrade over their current depth options such as Kevin Kramer, Hunter Owen, and Will Craig. All three players are not top prospects and don’t have that veteran presence that Frazier provides (along with all teams passing on Kramer and Craig on waivers and Owen in rule five).
While Todd Frazier isn’t the player that he once was, there’s a good chance that he will end up playing some role on the Pirates this season. With an injury, trade, or an under performance, Frazier could find himself on the 26-man roster. He’ll provide some veteran leadership and a mentorship, but will start the season at the Alternate Site.