Clint Frazier was designated for assignment by the New York Yankees last week. The outfielder is coming off of a season where he struggled at the plate, hitting just .186/.317/.317 and saw his season end on June 30th after going 1-1 and being hit by a pitch. In 2019 and 2020, over the span of 108 games played, Frazier performed well, hitting .267/.347/.497 with 20 home runs.

Social media was abuzz when Clint Frazier’s DFA came out and fans of many teams were clamoring about the idea that it could make sense for their favorite team to take a chance on the former top prospect who despite a poor 2021 season was not far removed from being a well above-average hitter.

There is a lot of uncertainty, though, with regards to Clint Frazier. On top of his performance issues in 2021, though perhaps entirely related, Frazier is not or perhaps was not healthy in the 2021 season and the precise issue has not been noted publicly. When he was initially placed on the injured list in July the Yankees said it was due to vertigo. But they would later say that was not the case, and offered very little beyond that as to what was going on. Frazier wouldn’t return to the field for six weeks, but began a rehab assignment on August 10th with Tampa in Low-A, going 2-4. He then joined Double-A Somerset and played in back-to-back games on August 13th and 14th. Those would be his final games of the season as he removed himself from the lineup before the start of the game on August 15th.

The Yankees didn’t get specific, nor did Clint Frazier, about why he pulled himself from the lineup and what it was that was going on. All was quiet until October 11th when Frazier tweeted this:

That came six weeks ago. There hasn’t been any update from Clint Frazier since.

When it comes to health, people absolutely have the right to share what information it is that they want to share, and not disclose the information that they would rather be kept quiet.

With that said, Clint Frazier and the Yankees keeping quiet about what’s going on leaves everyone out there in the dark when it comes to potentially thinking about picking him.

When he’s been healthy, Clint Frazier has been able to hit. He’s never gotten full-time action with the Yankees, but entering the 2021 season had had a career .806 OPS and a 114 OPS+ in 162 big league games spread out over parts of four seasons. The outfielder, however, has also been rated as a below-average defender in the corner outfield spots (he’s only played center for 9 innings in the big leagues).

With Cincinnati losing Nick Castellanos to free agency, uncertainty with regards to where exactly it is that Nick Senzel fits in, the struggles of Aristides Aquino in 2021 at the plate, and the struggles since the beginning for Shogo Akiyama – the Reds outfield options for 2022 are rather uncertain beyond Jesse Winker and perhaps Tyler Naquin. Where Jose Barrero fits in could also be a topic worth exploring given that he did spend some time in the outfield with Cincinnati at the end of 2021. But it seems like it would make sense for the Reds to at least look for additional outfield help. With all of the questions surrounding Clint Frazier right now it would seem a wait-and-see approach with specific regards to his health would be a smart approach.

73 Responses

  1. RedsGettingBetter

    The right plan for the Reds would be landing a corner outfielder form FA such as Mark Canha or someone like him and DFA Aquino. About Frazier they could be in a deep research regard to health situation of him but I wonder if they could pick him up and wait the spring training and see whether he is in shape to contribute or would be released again

  2. Colorado Red

    Would be worth the risk to pick up Clint (After health checks of course)
    Would take something to get him, he will not fall into there laps at there position.
    A low level, high risk prospect would do it.

  3. Hotto4Votto

    There’s a good chance Frazier would hit better than Aquino or Akiyama if healthy in 2022. As you mentioned, it’s hard to count on Senzel to be healthy. The Reds need OF help. I’d say he’s worth the roster spot.

  4. Alan Horn

    I would say no. He has never played in more than 69 games in a season and has a history or injuries. He appears to be Senzel 2.0. Plus, he has never put up any decent numbers. They have saved a lot of money and likely will save more with potential trades. Go for Garcia who should come in at around 12 million per year and since he is a FA, won’t cost any prospects or players to obtain.

    • Alan Horn

      To expand my thoughts on Garcia who had 28 Hrs last season versus 30+ for NC. You have to think that Stephenson playing full time will bring more HRs to the team. India has the likely potential to expand on his approximate 20 HRs last season. If they sign Garcia, they have the potential to produce even move offense than last season with NC. Of course, if they resigned NC that would be so also but would likely cost twice the money as Garcia. Garcia to me makes all the sense in the world for the Reds. To all the ones who say we didn’t win last season with NC, I say blunders by the front office kept us out the playoffs along with injuries. The time that Winker, Votto, NC Senzel and Naquin was out alone likely kept us from the playoffs. Then figure the BP blunders by the FO in the off season and early season along with playing Suarez, AA, Akiyama and Cabrera down the stretch run versus going with some youngsters greatly contributed to our collapse. Without all of that we are easily in the playoffs. Remember, your playoff run starts with game one out of the box.

      • Doc

        The FO did not injure Lorenzen. The FO did not injure Sims. The FO did not cause Garrett to implode. The FO did not injure Warren. The FO did not injure Antone. Blaming the FO for all the BP woes is intellectually unsupportable.

        Did the FO trade Iglesius and then prematurely discard Ramirez, yes. Did the FO not resign Bradley, yes. But there are far more failures of established BP arms with good performance histories than there were of “blunders”. Additionally, a decision gone wrong is not the same thing as a blunder, except to those who think 100% hindsight is the measurement standard.

      • Alan Horn

        To be fair, you are correct on the BP injuries which they couldn’t project. By letting Iglesius and Bradley go for nothing, they were gambling on the rest to carry the BP. It might have been different if Antone and Lorenzen had not been injuried(not sure on Lorenzen). So Yes, to be fair, this team wasn’t that far away at all if not for all the injuries. Never mind the under performing (Suarez, AA, Akiyama, Moose and Garrett) which was no fault of the FO. The injuries alone sunk us. That is why the team should look at Garcia. Hindsight is 20/20 and I thought the BP would be ok going into the season myself. It turned out we got rid of too much, so the BP injuries killed us. Like you pointed out, the BP wasn’t as big a blunder as I thought. Playing the do nothings late in the season versus going with the youth, not so much. I will never agree that someone who is not performing over a large sample size plays because of what they make salary wise.

      • Redsvol

        Alan – I’m a big fan of Garcia. He mashes lefties. I would be a bit concerned paying him for being more than he is. I think he is a very good platoon player/DH. That said, someone is going to pay him $12M because of his 2021. A closer look at his career scares me on counting on him to play against righties. Is his previous track record what you get or is 2021 what you get? Its a risk for a small market team. If the contract $ is fair and the years are low (250 pound men don’t age well in baseball) go get him.

        Regarding bullpen, I’m not sure any team could have overcome the injuries Reds had this year. The main Front office fault I think is not getting help earlier in the season. If we had Cessa and Givens in June it probably would have made a big difference – but it would have cost a better prospect.

      • Alan Horn

        Redsvol, I would rather have NC back. I wish they would resign him with the money saved. One thing I know is that they need to get a viable RH bat for the OF or we are in trouble. It needs to be someone who is a significant addition to the offense. It remains to be seen if they do it and whom it is.

    • Scott C

      I would be much more apt to go get Sterling Marte, although I think I read that the Astros are pursuing him hard. I think we could use a centerfielder more than anything, he brings good defense and a good average and OBP. His power ought to play up more in GABP.

      • Alan Horn

        I agree, but he would the same as NC.

      • greenmtred

        Isn’t Marte’s age a problem? Unless the Reds are in serious win now mode, which they don’t appear to be, he’d likely have aged out of being a good everyday player before the young guys are established.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Marte would be great. My favorite FA out there. And I don’t think he’s in the NC tier of FA as far as cost. He’ll be cheaper and for less years. Unfortunately, Marte falls into the “win-now” window and I don’t believe the Reds are in win-now mode. I doubt we’ll see any major FA signings, much like last offseason, it’ll be another season of subtraction (from the budget and team).

      • Alan Horn

        @greenmtred. Yes, Marte’s age is getting up there(especially for CF). Like NC, he was productive last season, but you are taking a chance. Ball player’s skills can erode quickly with age much like a woman’s beauty. The owners should well know this since they deal in produce which can spoil even more quickly.

  5. LDS

    Another fragile player would seem like a bad investment. I’d rather take a chance on Aquino and Akiyama than blow more money on a player that will likely never reach his potential.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Exactly. He’s another fragile player who removed himself from rehab games.Something going on there that is probably not just a normal injury.

      • Doug

        He removed himself from one game. I believe the Yankees didn’t do him any favors and it seems they may have lied about his injuries. I’d give him a chance. AA has 19 hrs in 4 years with 14 coming in one month.

    • Rick Pearson

      I really hope we don’t make the mistake & resign Amir Garrett

  6. Michael B. Green

    Since 2019, here is Frazier’s stat line:

    624 PA .239-.337-.436 25 HR 75 R 79 RBI 6 SB
    4.1 Offensive WAR
    (18.4) Defensive WAR
    0.6 WAR
    110 wRC+
    0.41 BB/K
    39.3% FB%
    All positive values against pitch types except change-ups

    He is just 27 years old. I think the advanced scouts need to assess his defense. Everything else points interesting but not fantastic metrics.
    He is projected to make $2.4M in his A1 season here.

    I think he is perhaps a very good fit to platoon with Naquin in RF. If they are not going to spend on Garcia (or at all), this could work out. I think he is out of options too.

    With one of the very worst defensive outfields last year, that is my only reason to pause on this one.

  7. KG

    Sure! Take a flyer on him. What have we got to lose at this point? Our payroll is only around 90mil, if I’m not mistaken, and he’s only going to cost a little over $2mil. If he’s healthy, do it. However, it sounds like there could be some serious health issues that have yet to be disclosed. I would definitely take him over Aquino or Shogo.

    • Michael

      @KG

      And if you cut him before the end of spring training you only have to pay 45 day of his yearly salary (assuming I read what doug tweeted correctly in relation to AG)

    • JayTheRed

      If he seems to be recovered from whatever health issues were a problem last year. I would say take a flyer on him. He is not expensive at all in baseball terms. I can’t imagine it’s going to take much to get him from the Yankees.

      Though maybe teams are waiting to see if the Yankees just release him cause then you only have to pay money to get him.

  8. Votto4life

    Unless he is willing to play for free I vote no.

    • west larry

      That sounds like a front office comment! If that’s sarcasm, I love it.

      • Votto4life

        I was being somewhat sarcastic, but the Reds obviously are not serious about contending for the foreseeable future, so why spend money on an often injured veteran who is not going to make the team any better?

  9. BK

    To me it depends on his heath (uncertain to us, but the Reds should be able to get the insight needed) and payroll budget. If the Reds have money to spend, then I’d suggest they go the free agent route: Schwarber and Garcia would be good targets for corner OF. If they don’t plan to bring in a proven big leaguer, Frazier would be an outstanding pick-up. He’ll come with plenty of risk, but could just as easily turn into a star if healthy and given his first opportunity to play everyday.

    A second player DFA by the Yankees worth looking at is Tyler Wade. He can play anywhere defensively and has a decent bat for a role player.

    • Michael B. Green

      Tyler Wade is out of options. While one could argue that he is an upgrade over Alejo Loepz, Lopez still has options.

      I think Wade will get a minor league contract with incentives by someone – even possibly CIN, but career stat line may not warrant a virtually-guaranteed MLB roster spot.

      I really like Wade but he would have to take Farmer’s spot and it is hard to argue he is an upgrade over Farmer. Cheaper, yes.

      • BK

        I agree with bringing him in on a minor league contract vs. trade/waiver claim. If everyone’s healthy, does he really have a spot? Perhaps not, but eventually someone goes on the IL. Wade is a quality depth piece who can make even a budget conscious team better.

      • Michael B. Green

        Looks like LAA already claimed Wade.

      • JayTheRed

        Wade Traded to the Angels. Not a wavier pickup.

    • BK

      I expected a team would likely trade for him. He’s one of the better players I’ve seen go through the DFA process in a while.

  10. TR

    If Clint Frazier is cleared medically, as much as possible, yes.

  11. AllTheHype

    If the Reds were to acquire him, it would be better to claim him, or trade for him, rather than sign him as a MLB free agent (if he goes unclaimed).

    The reason is, he is arb1 eligible and as such, it is a non-guaranteed contract (subject to a small % of termination pay) if he does not make the team out of ST. However, if they sign him as a MLB FA, it is a guaranteed contract and the way the Reds operate (if he is guaranteed money), he will be on the roster come opening day, barring injury.

  12. RedsFan11

    With as horrible a track record this team has with medical issues, signing another player with health questions sounds right up the Reds alley…

    • AllTheHype

      What is horrible about the Reds’ record on medical issues, in comparison to other teams? Reds got 153 starts from 6 starters. That’s way better health than most teams get and better than average for sure. And among starting position players, only Winker, down about 50 games, hurt the team significantly. Castellanos missed about 20 games. Senzel and Moose lost significant time, but Moose was a bench player after his return and both were playing replacement level baseball.

      You could say the Antone injury hurt the team. It certainly did. Some other relievers missed some time as well, although it’s hard to argue they made much difference in the performance of the relief corps.

      Reds certainly fared better than most teams in the “medical issues” department. That was definitely not an excuse.

      • Alan Horn

        I agree. All teams football and baseball have poor medical track records. I believe it relates back to S & C methods. Being too bulked up leads to injuries. Especially when it comes to throwing and running/cutting. For example, new training methods allow pitchers to throw harder than ever. That in itself leads to arm and shoulder injuries. Of course a lot of the Reds injuries for position players was via HBP which is a whole other problem. It is greater in the MLs today than I ever remember it. Another problem is the playing of a sport year round. The arm and body needs to rest from rigid exercise some portion of the year.

    • Bill J

      Right there, I thought they already have 2 outfielders that have not been able to play a full season in MLB why not sign another. On another point not blaming the FO for injuries, i wonder if they take injuries lightly like Winker when he was okay ed to come back in September and didn’t last one game.

  13. Steve Schoenbaechler

    The thing with Akiyama, I believe, is I really don’t believe he’s gotten any extended playing time, to see what he can do, for him to get acclimated to the league, their pitching, etc. Now, whether that’s by chance or whatever, I would definitely be interested in giving him a shot to see what he can do.

    We messed up with Senzel by even moving him to the OF. We should have either traded him on when he was ready to move up here, or traded Suarez on. For, with Hamilton, sure, he may have been a great defender. But, Hamilton couldn’t even get above the Mendoza line for batting. And, Hamilton and Senzel both couldn’t stay healthy.

    If we keep Senzel, I don’t see how you plan for him to start OF. I just wouldn’t do it. It’s an injury waiting to happen. . .again. It will only be putting the Reds into a bigger hole. You plan for him for the bench, then be ready to move on without him.

    Aquino, I don’t see him being any better than Hamilton, less speed, more pop. A good defender, he just can’t hit for average up here.

    Yeah, I believe the top 3 OF’s will be Winker, Shogo, and Tyler if/when Nick C moves on. Senzel will have to win a spot to start, I believe.

    As for Frazier, not unless we are looking for Senzel 2.0, I don’t see why we pick him up.

    • Alan Horn

      I agree. We saw this past season how injuries can kill a team. It makes no sense to sign yet another injury prone player. Having players south of age 30 also helps with injuries.

    • AllTheHype

      The Akiyama/lack of opportunities argument is tired. He’s had 366 PAs and slashed a minuscule .224/.320/.274 with 0 HRs. He’s gotten many back to back starts, etc and just has not shown he is a viable MLB player.

      If he can’t perform in 366 PAs, he doesn’t deserve to drag down the team any more than his current roster spot does. He “should” be released, but won’t, because the Reds generally play out their guaranteed contracts into the walk year.

      • vegastypo

        Akiyama looks soooooooo overmatched at the plate, I doubt that extended playing time would help. Unless it’s in Triple-A, which he would veto.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        “Extended playing time” is “having back to back starts”? Alright. . .

      • AllTheHype

        Here’s a thought……let him have extended time in AAA. He has options and does not have the required MLB service time to refuse the demotion. Reds won’t do that though because he is getting paid too much so they let him be a drag on the MLB roster instead. Sigh.

      • MK

        That is what they should have done his first year. But they got everyone hyped about the next coming of Ichiro and couldn’t then send him out and save face so instead just set him on bench.

    • JB

      I would rather platoon Senzel with Freidl in center. I’ve seen enough of Akiyama and “The Punisher” lol. The Reds are getting rid of contracts and going cheaper. The thought of them signing Garcia or anybody over 5 million is laughable at best.

  14. Rick Pearson

    Are the Reds signing Clint Frazier ?

  15. old-school

    It would appear the Dec 1 deadline will approach and pass with the Reds sitting on their hands awaiting the labor stoppage. Some news next week on tenders but possibly every arbitration eligible player will be tendered. Krall spoke favorably of both Garrett and Hoffman in recent interviews.

    Nick Krall stated in early October the focus of Octgober was to establish a budget. They aren’t telling anyone what that budget is but it appears it wont be one capable of filling all the gaping holes of OF, right handed bat, bullpen and SP depth, more speed and better defense. There should be a flurry of non-tenders this time next week and the Reds will wait out the labor stoppage and then peruse the list of players who got stuck without a chair to sit in when the season ultimately resumes. Reds will be value shoppers.

    It will be a long cold winter for Reds news.

    • Alan Horn

      I think you are on target. They are like the little old lady who can’t wait for the flea market to open to go dumpster diving. They will wait for all the non tenders to stock the flea market.

    • DataDumpster

      Indeed. But, this is consistent with the decision they made to retain Krall and Bell. The important thing is for those two to show that they belong in their positions by incremental improvements in the areas you mentioned. Letting a contract to an guy with an iffy medical history is not what the doctor has ordered. I still can’t figure how the big trade chips from the Dodgers came up lame (with afterthought Farmer being the only keeper), how key personnel got injured practically before spring training was over, and virtually every IL case got extended well beyond the expected injury duration.

      Shortcomings in the Red’s medical staff, poor conditioning of the players, lack of discipline and fundamentals from the coaching staff, poor roster management and use of players (e.g. Senzel and Lorenzen cases), etc. Whatever the cause is, this team cannot gamble on these kinds of things. Like old-school is saying, sit back and see what’s off tender and be ready to reshape the product into balance when CBA is resolved. Rinse and repeat for 2023.

    • MK

      Not sure that if they sign someone to a 2022 contract prior to work stoppage they are on the hook to pay regardless. So from a business standpoint it makes sense to see what happens.

  16. MBS

    Why not? It shouldn’t cost much to acquire him, and I doubt the FO will shell out money on a quality FA. He’d be easily expendable if it doesn’t work out.

  17. Votto4life

    Sad to see that we are back to dumpster diving.

    • AllTheHype

      Sad? It’s an important part of every off season. Last year, Naquin, Schrock, and Warren were all “dumpster dives”. In years past, Josh Hamilton, Brandon Phillips, and Scooter Gennett were dumpster dives.

      Never know which one will contribute or even be a star.

      • MBS

        I think he meant that dumpster diving being the highlight is the bummer. Or at least that’s my take.

    • JayTheRed

      And….. Your actually surprised by this. I am not one bit. This is how this team has operated for basically 7 of the last 10 Seasons.

      Nothing is going to change with this team while it’s under this current ownership.

  18. eddiek957

    Hopefully Garrett and Sims have a healthy off season and spring training If I remember correctly they didn’t get much game time in Arizona. I hope we can find an outfielder who will have success playing half his games in GABP. Akiyama needs to be sold to an Asian team

  19. AllTheHype

    Position player market cold as ice. Starting pitching market hot as a red chili pepper on an El Paso sidewalk.

    A smart Reds FO (giving them the benefit of the doubt til proven otherwise) will take advantage of that later in the offseason, after the available SPs dry up completely.

    • Alan Horn

      Gray might bring back the RH OF we need.

  20. Indy Red Man

    I know its another anniversary of JFKs assassination, but why not? Take a shot! Too soon? Actually a very good documentary on it on Showtime tonite.

    We need more ginger stars in pro sports! Or a ginger star? Naquin did pretty well considering. Another #1 pick that was basically regarded as a bust. If Frazier did well fans could bring Chuckie dolls to the games.

  21. DataDumpster

    I realize news is slow for the Reds and absent some really unexpected breakthrough in the CBA, a winter thaw will probably prolong the nothingness, if that’s actually a word. Not being very versed in offseason maneuvers, wouldn’t this be a good opportunity to lock in some nice, lower cost pieces to show some team direction and show a little appreciation for the “cogs” needed to take the franchise forward (e.g. Farmer, etc.)? How can fans commit to buy tickets in the current situation when the only sure things seem to be David Bell as your uninspiring manager, John Sadak as your overzealous announcer, and an ownership without a plan.

    • Rick Pearson

      Boy I thought I was the only one that felt that way about David Bell and John Sadak. How did David Bell managed to get through an interview? The man seriously has no communication skills he cannot talk he is good at running out there yelling and getting ejected though. And that announcer I would rather have Thom Brenham back. Gets on my last nerve

      • greenmtred

        Sounds like you had a conversation with Bell and it didn’t go well? Of course, it might have been your conversation skills…Interviews and conversations are two different things, as are managing and being interviewed. Think Bill Bellichick. As for Thom? There’s no accounting for taste.

  22. Kevin Patrick

    I can’t speak intelligently on whether to acquire Frazier. I think it more likely the Reds assess their holes during Spring Training. I just don’t know how the Reds can responsibly do anything else. Is Senzel ready to play? Is Akiyama’s hamstring injury ok? It shouldn’t be hard to fill the roster with back up outfielders late in spring. Honestly, I think we saw a glimpse of what the Reds are planning last year. They plan for Barrero to get plate appearances playing center. If he hits, he’ll play short more regularly. I also wouldn’t be surprised to hear crazy things like trying India at short if Moustakas and Suarez are healthy and hitting well…and Barrero isn’t… mid spring. This team has too many question marks to go after any impact free agents…and the Reds have too much financial commitment to players that they don’t know what to expect from. You can’t even count on Winker to play significant innings with certainty. The hopeful optimist in me thinks that if Winker, Senzel, Naquin, Akiyama, Moustakas, Suarez, and Gray are healthy and ready to go…the Reds would be able to find an interesting right handed bat. Barrero, Stevenson, Senzel and Suarez bat right…and if they are ready to go…big if…then those are the players you would prefer to be playing and paying. I think it likely the Reds deal an important starter to fill holes with major league ready talent during the spring…because that will be the only way the front office will be able to look at Votto with a straight face and say they are trying to win. The fewer the holes…the more special the return will be…The success of the off season should be gauged upon the front office’s ability to eliminate uncertainty for the pen before the spring or finding a way to sign India beyond his current years of control. They’ll need about 4 guys that can throw upper 90’s that they can keep or unload at the trade deadline.

  23. SultanofSwaff

    Disco gets 3 years/$36 million but Nick Krall said there were no takers for Wade Miley at $10mil for one year.

    It’s the LYING.

    • Alan Horn

      It makes no sense that the Red’s best pitcher on a good staff had no market value. Maybe true for the short time he was marketed. Same is true for Barnhart. A lot of teams don’t have a catcher of Barnhart’s caliber.

  24. Rick Pearson

    No I have not had no run in with David Bell I’ve been a die-hard Cincinnati Reds fan let’s see I’m 63 ever since I’m going to probably 1970 I started listening to them on the radio and I’ve never stopped they’ve always been my team. I’m just stating in my opinion everybody has one I would have kept Dusty Baker. My favorite announcer would be Chris Welsh, I like listening to Jim Day, I also like listening to Jeff Brantley

    • TR

      I’m with you regarding Jim Day. He seems genuinely interested in people. He’s one of the best in what he does.

  25. JayTheRed

    Frazier has been officially released. We would only have to give up some money at this point. Reds would be dumb not to at least give this a shot.

    • TR

      I and other fans are pulling for the Reds to not be dumb regarding Clint Frazier.