New York Mets: Ryder Ryan To Rangers, Finalizing Todd Frazier Deal

New York Mets

Just in case your heart dropped, no, the New York Mets did not trade for Todd Frazier again. The Mets sent Ryder Ryan to the Texas Rangers, finalizing their August 31 deal. Ryan came to the Mets via the Cleveland Indians for Jay Bruce during the 2017 season.

The classic “player to be named later” trade is how the Mets ended up losing Ryan. Originally, he was seen as a lackluster return for Bruce but ended up pitching better after joining the Mets farm system. Over the last two and a half seasons in A+ and AA, Ryan pitched to a 3.02 ERA over 75 games.

Though Ryan never made any top prospect lists and is heading into his age-26 season, he is worth more than 51 Frazier plate appearances. During his second Mets stint, Frazier hit .224/.255/.388 with two home runs and five RBIs. Despite only trading Ryan for Frazier, this still goes down as a final trademark Brodie Van Wagenen trade blunder.

New York Mets Player Evaluations: Third Baseman Todd Frazier

As we move closer to the obscure players to wear a New York Mets uniform, we look at Todd Frazier. After spending two seasons with the Mets and not receiving a call from the team during free agency, Brodie Van Wagenen opted to bring him back at the trade deadline.

The LLWS hero from Toms River, New Jersey, made his triumphant return to Flushing in September. After spending half the season with the Texas Rangers, he batted .241/.322/.380 with two home runs, seven RBIs, and seven doubles. Frazier’s power numbers were down, but the Mets wanted his right-handed power potential back on the roster.

Return to the Blue and Orange

After playing in 31 games with the Rangers, he only played in 14 (12 starts) with the Mets. They liked how he matched up against lefties, hitting .343 against them with the Rangers. Frazier also batted under .200 against righties, but those splits reversed with the Mets. He batted .217 against southpaws and .231 against the right-handers.

Frazier’s points of concern are his strikeout (24.4%) and walk rate (6.4%), heading in opposite directions. Heading into his age-35 season and posting his lowest hard-hit rate (31.3%) since 2017 (30.4%) make it hard for any team to use him in an everyday role. Frazier’s role likely comes as a platoon player, getting his at-bats against left-handers.

His biggest impacts came away from the batter’s box. Frazier provided a steady glove at third base with a two outs above average in a small sample size with the Mets. He also hurled a one-two-three inning, with a strikeout during his knuckleball pitching cameo against the Atlanta Braves. Pete Alonso also attributed a few good games to using Frazier’s bat as well.

It is impossible to see the Mets bring back Frazier on their team option for 2021. Declining the option has a $1.5 million buyout, which almost seemed like a petty move by the Wilpon’s to force new owner Steve Cohen to pay a player that should not have been brought back in the first place. As good as a personality that Frazier is, he will likely hit the free-agent market once again.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Hitting: 30 (25), Frazier has one season above .250 since 2016.

Power: 45 (35), .382 was the lowest slugging percentage of his career.

Run: 20 (20), Bottom 6% in sprint speed (24.2 ft/sec)

Arm: 50 (45), Lacks the power it once had but still very accurate, especially starting double plays.

Field: 45 (40), Still a reliable glove at third base but moving towards below average with his range.

Overall: 40 (30), Useful as a platoon for lefties, but he is in the bench player years of his career.

New York Mets: Roster Moves Made to Add New Acquisitions

New York Mets general manager, Brodie Van Wagenen, decided to make unnecessary trades on August 31 in an attempt to save his job when Steve Cohen purchases the team. He brought in a 36-year old back up catcher hitting .119, reliever Miguel Castro and someone he did not even pursue in free agency in Todd Frazier.

With the trio of Frazier, Castro, and Robinson Chirinos, the Mets had to send three players back to the alternate site to make room. They sent pitchers Ariel Jurado and Franklyn Kilome along with catcher Ali Sanchez. The moves left the Mets with a crowded infield and thinner bullpen.

Peterson to the Bullpen

With two long men leaving the bullpen, David Peterson is available to pitch in Wednesday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. Peterson has been the second-best pitcher on the Mets staff, but the Mets opted for the reverse Seth Lugo treatment. The move does not seem to be permanent, but it leaves Robert Gsellman scheduled to start against the New York Yankees.

With Frazier joining the infield, the Mets have eight infielders for four spots, nine if Jeff McNeil is part of the group. Luis Guillorme is still hitting over .400 and Andres Gimenez homering the night before, but the Mets opted to play Frazier and bat him fourth for Wednesday’s game.

The Mets will need another reliever with no off days insight. In all fairness, Frazier should be the odd man out amongst Guillorme and Gimenez. Unfortunately, one of them will take the demotion in the near future. Despite Van Wagenen not giving up on 2020, it certainly is inevitable for them to throw in the towel.

New York Mets Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles (9/1-9/2)

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

The New York Mets face the Baltimore Orioles in a short two-game series to begin the final month of the season. Both teams come into Tuesday’s matchup with 15 wins and sit in fourth place in their respective decisions. In 36 prior matchups, the Mets won 23 of the games.

Probable Pitching Matchups

Tuesday (9/1) @ 7:35 p.m. ET: Ariel Jurado (Mets debut) vs. Asher Wojciechowski (1-3, 5.13 ERA)

Wednesday (9/2) @ 4:05 p.m. ET: TBD vs. TBD

The Mets had their worst four-game streak, dropping four straight games that they all had the opportunity to win. All the losses were truly team efforts as every part of the roster and coaching staff contributed to the defeats. Luckily for the Mets, the Orioles are just as mediocre this season.

New Faces in New Places

Ariel Jurado makes his Mets debut in the first game of the series as he is one of three former Texas Rangers joining the roster. The addition of Robinson Chirinos and Todd Frazier are very questionable decisions, especially the weak-hitting Chrinios. The Mets have not announced the roster moves to add them to the roster but assumingly, J.D. Davis is heading to the injured list and Ali Sanchez is heading back to the alternate site.

Former Oriole, Miguel Castro is joining the Mets as well to help the beleaguered Mets bullpen. Castro is a favorite for people in the analytics department and serves as another middle reliever. They will need his high strikeout stuff with Dellin Betances on the injured list.

Robinson Cano and Dominic Smith have spearheaded the Mets offense over the last week. Despite wanting to avoid back-to-back lefties, it will be interesting to see if manager Luis Rojas opts to bunch them together in the middle of the order. If not, putting Pete Alonso between them should help him get out of his slump. He will get more strikes since pitchers do not want to face Smith with runners on base.

Matchup to Look Out For

Robinson Cano Career at Camden Yards: .356/.405/.567 (128-for-360), 31 Doubles, 15 Home Runs

Dominic Smith 2020 Stats in Away Games: .352/.446/.722 (19-for-54), 8 Doubles, 4 Home Runs

Pete Alonso 2020 Stats Batting Fourth: .200/.273/.500 (4-for-20), 2 Home Runs, 2 Walks, 6 Strikeouts

New York Mets: Todd Frazier Year in Review

Todd Frazier had another “Frazier Like” year, but it was much better than his first one as a New York Met. Not quite the everyday player he was in his years before arriving in Queens, he was still a valued member of the 2019 Mets.

Frazier became known for his wild swings and flying bats, but had a very solid year as the Mets third baseman. He hit .251, his best mark since 2015 and slugged 21 home runs. He also played slightly above average defense and was a terrific clubhouse presence throughout the season.

Roller Coaster Season

Frazier was one of the streakier players on the team. He would put together spells where he looked unstoppable and at other times he would take some of the ugliest swings we have seen. Frazier had months where he hit as low as .204 and a month like September where he finished hitting .350.

He had one of the biggest hits of the season with his three run game tying home run against the Washington Nationals. At that time it seemed like the Mets were going to fully climb out of the hole they put themselves in during the first half of the season. They never did and Frazier struggled until September rolled around.

Frazier to Free Agency

Frazier is now a free agent and more than likely his Mets career is over. The Mets have an abundance of infielders, especially at the corners. They are also looking younger options as well in Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis. Jed Lowrie is also remaining on the roster and will see action at third if the stays healthy.

Grades:

Hitting for Average: B, .251 is good for Frazier’s standards

Hitting for Power: C, 21 is a solid home run number, but only 19 doubles

Defense: B+, always a steady glove at third base

Speed/Baserunning: C, not getting too much speed wise, but a smart baserunner

Intangibles: A, one of the best clubhouse guys in baseball

 

New York Mets: Reaction From Friday Night

The New York Mets had just a three percent win probability but managed to pull off a comeback for the ages against the Washington Nationals. Citi Field was electric throughout the night and the walk off victory completely blew the roof off the building.

Friday night had a postseason atmosphere from the second you parked your car to walking through the exits into the pandemonium in Flushing.

The Ups and The Downs

They went down 3-0 in the fourth after Marcus Stroman cruised through the first three innings. Immediately the Mets responded with back to back home runs by Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis.

Those back to back homers brings back memories of Curtis Granderson and Daniel Muphy against Jordan Zimmerman in 2015. Stroman battled all night for the Mets, especially during the top of the sixth. He went six plus innings and allowed four runs in his Citi Field debut.

The Nats had a runner at third with no outs in the top of the sixth and there was a feeling there was no way to keep them from scoring. Thanks to Amed Rosario’s leaping catch and the chance to face the pitcher, they got out of it. Stroman came storming off the mound yelling “Lets F***ing Go!” after striking out Stephen Strasburg to end the sixth.

Late Inning Heroics

Anthony Rendon hit his 21st career home run against the Mets to continue his butchering of the Mets. It gave the Nationals a two run lead and sucked the air out of the building through the rest of the seventh. Trea Turner stole a run in the eighth on a wild pitch that Wilson Ramos and Luis Avilan were too lackadaisical to pick up quickly.

The Mets had opportunities to even the game in both the seventh and eighth. Fans who started to leave early thought the Mets were finally coming back down to Earth. Those fans were in the small minority as the the fans who left their seats walked around the stadium just incase a miracle occurred.

The Ninth Inning

The stadium would have emptied out after the wild pitch during June and early July, but these new look Mets have instilled hope back in their fans. The Mets had Sean Doolittle’s number earlier in the season and they had the middle of their order up. With Davis, Wilson Ramos and Todd Frazier up there was hope they could comeback, especailly if the first two men got on.

No one could have predicted this magical comeback tonight. Of course, anyone who watched five minutes of ESPN, MLB Network or scrolled through social media knows the ending. Frazier wraps one around the Chick-Fil-A sponsored foul pole in left field then Michael Conforto one hops a shot off the right field fence.

What Is Next?

Due to every wild card contender except the Nationals winning, the Mets only gained a game on the Nats. They have two more against the the Nationals with Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom on the mound. Winning both would put the Mets in the top wild card spot heading into a three game series against the NL East leading Atlanta Braves.

The Mets have taken 14 out of their last 15 and erased half a season of disappointment. With still a month and a half to play the Mets line themselves up to play meaningful baseball for the remainder of the year.