Source confirms: Pirates trade Adam Frazier to Padres. @JeffPassan on it first.
— RobBiertempfel (@RobBiertempfel) July 25, 2021
Tucupita Marcano was the highlight of the return for the Pirates, but they also received two other largely unheralded minor leaguers for the All-Star second baseman.
Frazier, who has an additional year of team control in 2022, was one of the most coveted bats near the trade deadline, as he leads the league in hits with 125 and has a .324/.388/.448 line with four homers and five stolen bases.
Now, one can’t help but wonder why the Padres decided to pull the trigger on the move when they have so much infield depth.
Where Is Frazier Going To Play?
Frazier, however, is known for his defensive versatility.
He can fill a variety of roles, most notably second base and the outfield corners.
However, he is also capable of playing third base, shortstop, and center field in an emergency.
Knowing this, what will be his role with the Padres?
Where will he play?
At this point, it’s probably safe to assume that Frazier will be a super-utility in San Diego, playing around five or six times per week in different positions.
The Padres plan to use Adam Frazier in a super-utility role. He has mostly played second base but also has experience at all three outfield positions.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) July 25, 2021
The Padres’ MLB site explains in an article that while the fit wasn’t obvious, they like what Frazier can bring to the table offensively.
He can hit for a high average and get on base at a high clip, as his .388 OBP suggests.
As far as defensive alignments, there are, per the article, two positions that the Padres would like to upgrade: right field and first base.
Wil Myers and Hosmer are the ones who occupy those positions most nights.
Myers And (Especially) Hosmer Could Lose Playing Time
Myers, who was a star in 2020, is hitting .254/.331/.442 with 12 homers, while Hosmer is at .266/.330/.381 and eight dingers.
It’s pretty clear that the avenues for Frazier to play most nights in San Diego is at the expense of Myers and/or Hosmer.
He could play some nights in right field, spelling Myers, but most of his starts could come at second base: the team would slide Cronenworth to first base and put Frazier at the keystone, benching Hosmer.
Of course, if there was a universal designated hitter, these things would be easier to solve, but that is not the case this season.
For now, it looks like Frazier could play even more than Profar and Kim given his obvious offensive credentials this season.
It’s never bad to have too much depth these days, when injuries strike at the most unexpected times.
In the end, Frazier will play plenty: maybe not every night, but he should retain at least 80-90 percent of the playing time he had in Pittsburgh.