MLB insider Jon Paul Morosi reported on Friday that the Mets are being active in the free agent market for third basemen. Specifically, the club is interested in both Mike Moustakas and Todd Frazier, should the asking price for either veteran fall to what New York deems is an acceptable level. Assuming that both players want to be on contract when spring training rolls around, they’ll eventually ask for less money, and perhaps the Mets will be able to afford one of them.
We’ve already discussed the possibility of Moustakas coming to Queens, and Frazier seems to be the safer investment. While the man known as “Moose” hit 38 home runs last year after never hitting more than 22 in any previous campaign, Frazier has been a consistent power threat in each of the last four years. The former Cincinnati star batted below .230 in 2016 and 2017 due to low BABIP, figures, but last year he posted a career-high 83 walks to boost his on-base percentage to .344 in a season split between the White Sox and Yankees.
Frazier’s 2017 slugging percentage of .428 was the lowest it’s been since 2013, but his increased walk rate and solid defense should help him retain value over the course of a two- or three-year deal. Another advantage that Frazier has over Moustakas is that he won’t be subject to draft-pick compensation since the Yankees acquired him in a mid-season trade and could not give him a qualifying offer.
Morosi also mentioned that the Mets have contacted Jonathan Lucory, a catcher that New York was rumored to be interested in prior to the 2016 trade deadline, when he was dealt from Milwaukee to Texas. 2017 saw the backstop on the move once again when the Rangers traded him to Colorado.
The Mets have been said to be satisfied with their catcher tandem of Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki, but neither can boast a history of offensive production like Lucroy can. Although last year’s dip in power was disturbing, the longtime Milwaukee standout made contact in almost 90 percent of his plate appearances in 2017 and continued to be terrific with his glove work.