The hot stove is starting to heat up as the weather outside gets colder. The Reds have reportedly been shopping Brandon Phillips, and basically confirmed that they are shopping Aroldis Chapman. The Reds shopping both of those players doesn’t come as much of a surprise. However on Monday afternoon, there was a report that was the first big surprise of the Reds off-season.
An exec of a team that's talked to the Reds says he's convinced Todd Frazier "is legitimately out there" to be traded for – for a big return
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) November 16, 2015
You might be thinking about Walt Jocketty’s comments last week that they were willing to listen to offers on any player, and wondering why the Reds shopping Frazier would be considered a surprise. The reason it surprised me is that just over four months ago Walt Jocketty saidÃ‚Â “No, I wouldn’t trade him (Frazier).”Ã‚Â What could have possibly made the Reds go from absolutely not trading him four months ago to now listening Ã‚Â to offers?
This is the part where I say that I told you so. I wrote an article on June 19th that “The Reds should trade Todd Frazier.” I received some “constructive criticism” from a Reds group for the article (here are the comments, viewer discretion advised for strong language). Okay, so back the real problem. What made the Reds front office declare Todd Frazier off-limits on July 2nd (Reds were 15.0 games back in the NL Central), but makes him available now?
My first guess is that the Reds front office just now got the green light to trade Frazier. Reds owner Bob Castellini wanted every aspect of the All-Star Game to go perfect. That in my estimation included not blowing up the team around the big game.
I am hesitant to throw all the blame on Walt Jocketty, especially after some of the really great trades he has made since last winter. However, it is certainly possible that Walt got too attached to the Reds all-star, just like many fans did after his incredible start.
The Reds waiting to trade Frazier will likely cost the Reds. I predicted back in June that Frazier would come back down to earth quickly. Sure, most GM’s have some sort of prediction model that would show Frazier is not really one of the five best hitters in baseball (Frazier was 4th in OPS and wRC+ in mid-June). But with that said, Frazier’s value still has to have significantly declined. Early projections for 2016 from SteamerÃ‚Â do not look great for Frazier: .252/.316/.452, 106 wRC+, 3.2 fWAR.
I am sure there is something that I will be horrendously wrong about coming up soon (and I’d expect you guys to let me know). We will never know what exactly Frazier could have brought back in return when he was at the pinnacle of his career, but I’d be willing to bet that it would be a lot more than the Reds will get if they decide to pull the trigger this winter.