By Bruce Levine —
CHICAGO (CBS) — The first place Boston Red Sox need a short-term answer at third base.
And the Chicago White Sox have one for them. Todd Frazier may be the answer to the Bean Town’s need of fortification at the hot corner the rest of 2017.
If so, the White Sox will be ready to listen.
Boston has used five different third basemen without getting the production they desire. The Red Sox let go of Pablo Sandoval and his long-term contract by designating him for assignment.
The minor league contract that Jhonny Peralta signed has been terminated. With two weeks left before the non-wavier trading deadline ends, the time to react will be soon for team President, David Dombrowski.
The Red Sox were looking at Frazier, Miami veteran infielder Martin Prado and Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas. Industry sources insist that KC will not trade the power hitting 3B, despite the fact he will become a free agent in November.
The Royals’ recent surge into contention has President Dayton Moore leaning toward competing and holding onto some of his top free agents, such as Moustakas.
Contract wise — Frazier has a prorated $12 million contract left this season. That means Boston would be on the hook for slightly more than $5.5 million if they acquire the player.
Prado still is owed a total of $32 million through 2019. Even if the Marlins eat some of the deal, it appears Frazier with his right handed pull power is the better fit at Fenway.
Frazier has cut his strikeouts down and has trended up in bases on balls. He had averaged a strikeout per game in 2016. Frazier has cut that down to 70 in 79 games.
The New Jersey native is on a pace for 80 walks; his career high is 64 in 2016.
“I am looking for one pitch the whole at bat until I get to two strikes,” Frazier told me on Saturday. “When I get to two strikes, I am getting my foot down earlier to see the pitches better .This is a difficult process, but a lot of guys are doing it this way now. See the ball with two strikes better is the new approach.”
The energetic Frazier knows his time as a Chicago player is going to be brief. He is lightening up the clutter in his locker, and has packed up some shoes as part of his pregame preparation on Saturday.
“It is in the back of mind,” Frazier said about possibly being traded. “It is way there, however, I am not focused on that. I love helping the younger guys out here. I feel like I have earned that spot. I love to help teammates out. Whatever happens, happens. I know if I do get traded, it will likely be a competitive team hoping to win in the playoffs.”
The brass has not talked to Frazier about his status. “No, not at all,” was Frazier’s response to whether or not he has heard from the Sox front office. “My job is to go out there and do my job. Just play the game the right way.”
Frazer is hitting .210 this season. He has been over .250 for the last month. His .769 OPS exceeds the current Red Sox third baseman in slugging and on base percentage by a wide margin.
The Red Sox have one of their top scouts watching Frazier this weekend in Chicago.