The Seattle Mariners made their first move of the offseason on Saturday morning, acquiring second baseman/left fielder Adam Frazier from the San Diego Padres for LHP Ray Kerr (who was just added to the 40 man roster) and outfielder Cory Rosier. President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto once again pulled this trade out from no where; amid all the speculation around other players, Dipoto swooped in to acquire Frazer.
Adam Frazier is slated to be the Mariners second baseman as of now. That could change as the offseason progresses, but Frazier is a major upgrade for the Mariners, no matter what position he plays. Frazier hit .305 last year between the Pirates and Padres, with a 114 wRC+ according to Fangraphs. He was also a 3.5 win player according to Fangraphs as well. Frazier doesn’t bring much power, but he can do a lot of other things offensively.
Frazier is a true slap hitter. As the Moneyball quote goes, he hits the ball a lot and he gets on base. Frazier has a short compact swing that gets to lots of balls near the zone, which is why he is such a good fit for the Mariners; he doesn’t strikeout much, as so many Mariners hitters do, and he gets on base a lot. Frazier got on base more than 36% of the time last year, so he should be a great fit for the top of the Seattle lineup card.
Some may question if this means the Mariners won’t pursue Marcus Semien now, and the answer to that is no. Frazier is mostly a second baseman yes, but he also has outfield flexibilityl; he spent some time in all three of the outfield spots in his time in Pittsburgh and San Diego. He could also play a little third base if needed, as he did earlier in his career. Marcus Semien could also play third base himself, giving the Mariners plenty of flexibility.
This trade for the Mariners brings high end talent to their infield in 2022, acquiring an All-Star level second baseman who has positional versatility, and they did not give up much for him. Kerr was an interesting future bullpen arm, and Rosier had a good small sample size in low A Modesto. Frazier is going to be 30 years old and is going into the last year of his contract, but he fits what Seattle needs to do going forward, and could always be inked to an extension.