Todd Frazier is staying in New York.
After a brief stay in the Bronx, Frazier will play in Flushing this upcoming season after agreeing to terms on a two-year, $17-million contract with the Mets, according to sources. The deal is pending a physical, and The Athletic first reported the deal.
Frazier became a fan favorite with the Yankees after being acquired last July, and he will now have a chance to win over Mets fans.
Frazier will provide defense, power and strong leadership, and the Mets especially are in need of solid defenders. The Mets have not placed a premium on defense despite the sport trending that way, and it has haunted them at times.
Frazier, who turns 32 next Monday, saved 10 runs at third base this past season, according to Fangraphs.com. That ranked fourth among third basemen, and ahead of strong defenders like Baltimore's Manny Machado and Washington's Anthony Rendon.
The veteran also will provide the team with another strong presence in the clubhouse following a season in which the Mets lacked leadership down the stretch. Frazier ignited the Yankees' "thumbs down" rally last year that became a viral sensation.
Frazier also gives the Mets righty power, and he has mashed 131 homers over the past four seasons. He hit 27 homers this past year with the White Sox and Yankees, and posted a .772 OPS. Frazier also posted a career-best .344 on-base percentage in 2017.
The former Rutgers star will serve as the Mets' starting third baseman, and Asdrubal Cabrera will take over as the starting second baseman. Cabrera originally had been slated to start at third base, but he recently said he would prefer to play second base.
Cabrera cost the Mets six runs at second base last year according to Fangraphs.com.
In acquiring Frazier, the Mets checked off a major item on their to-do list since they had long been searching for a starting infielder. The team recently brought back Jose Reyes, but the ideal scenario is for him to serve as a utility bench player.
The Mets had considered other players such as Eduardo Nunez, Neil Walker and Josh Harrison, but Frazier always seemed like the best fit among that group.
This move continues what has been a busy offseason for the Mets, and they have now spent roughly $73 million this offseason. Most teams have not spent much this winter and it's contributed to the slow market, but the Mets have been rather active.
The Mets' plan has been to be patient and see if there are value deals to be made, and the strategy has paid off. Frazier's deal is a solid investment for the Mets, and they also re-signed Jay Bruce at a value price considering he swatted 36 homers last year.
The team's payroll is in the $145-$150 million range.
It's possible the Mets can still make another move this offseason since the team will continue to monitor the market for potential value. With spring training starting shortly, players may have to settle for lesser deals than they had originally hoped.
While the Mets have been linked to starting pitchers recently, sources have maintained all offseason that adding a starting pitcher is not a priority for the team. However, it's possible the team may find a quality pitcher for a low-cost deal in this market.