St. Louis Cardinals: Should the Cardinals Upgrade at Third Base?
Next up is Todd Frazier.
The former Cincinnati Red is very familiar with the St. Louis Cardinals and the rest of the National League Central. After years of terrorizing Cardinals pitching, Frazier was traded to the Chicago White Sox. In his first year in Chicago, Frazier batted .225 and hit forty home runs with 98 RBI. A respectable line, with the only concern being his batting average.
Frazier is a career .249 hitter, so his low average may be due to some outside circumstances like being in a new league. However, it is the offensive pop that the Cardinals would like to see in St. Louis in the heart of the order.
Here are his numbers out of the clean-up spot:
His numbers out of the clean-up spot suggest that average may lag behind, but his slugging can strike fear in the pitcher. The biggest concern for me with Frazier is his strike out rate. His career strike-out rate sits at 22.7%. Essentially every four plate appearances results in a strike out. This obviously attributes to his low BA, but Frazier does have a high average on BABIP, .265. So if he makes contact, there is a decent chance for a hit.
Defensively, Frazier would also represent a slight upgrade, very similar to what Donaldson would provide to the Cardinals. His career RZR rating at third base is .716. Like Donaldson, Frazier’s rating is considered poor, but again better than the two awful ratings currently on the team.
Through fourteen games, Frazier has been able to amass a .842 RZR, which would be above average. If he can continue to provide defensive stability close to where he is now, or even at his career mar, Frazier should be a viable option for the Cardinals.
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What would it take to get him:
Fortunately for the Cardinals, I don’t think this move would take much. The White Sox are still in a rebuilding mode and will be for some time. I’m sure that the team is still looking to sell pieces. Brendan, fellow Redbird Rants writer, recently linked the Cardinals to Jose Quintana once again.
So It’s no secret that piece could be moving in June, so why not look at Frazier? The only thing that will stop the Cardinals from making this move is the asking price for Frazier. Rule of thumb is if you wait towards the end of the deadline, the steeper that price will be. Like Donaldson, Frazier will fetch a pitching prospect and possibly an outfield prospect.
This particular deal will be the least impactful to the Cardinals farm system. However, the White Sox will only want close to ready talent for a player like Frazier. Will the Cardinals bite though?