The Pittsburgh Pirates are open for business and one of their infielders makes a lot of sense for the SF Giants.
When the offseason began, SF Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi identified a left-handed bat as a priority for next season. Since then, they have clarified that they are seeking a complementary piece, so top left-handed free-agent bats such as Didi Gregorius will not be in their price range unless their markets collapse.
Between Evan Longoria, Brandon Crawford, Donovan Solano, Wilmer Flores, and Mauricio Dubon, there will not be a lot of at-bats available to any acquisition. However, given the advanced age of many of those players, the Giants need to prepare for injuries as well. The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the middle of a full-blown rebuild and have made notable players available. While the Giants should obviously try to acquire starting pitcher Joe Musgrove, he will cost premium prospects. Pirates infielder Adam Frazier, on the other hand, seems unlikely to garner a sizable return.
Frazier, originally drafted by the Pirates in the sixth round of the 2013 draft, has been a steady producer throughout his career. Since he debuted in 2016, the left-handed bat has slashed .273/.336/.413 (100 OPS+) with 35 home runs, 172 RBI, and being worth 6.9 WAR. This comes with a solid 7.4 percent walk rate against a 13.6 percent strikeout rate.
Furthermore, he has handled right-handed pitchers to the tune of a .774 OPS in five seasons. As a team, the Giants posted a .764 OPS against right-handed hurlers, so adding Frazier would be a very modest improvement on that mark.
In the field, the 29-year-old offers a lot of versatility. He has experience at every position except for catcher, pitcher, and first base. In 2020, Frazier posted solid marks in left field (2 DRS, 1.7 UZR), and at second base (4 DRS, 1.9 UZR). A useful combination.
The question is what would the Giants have to give up to get the Mississippi State University product? For starters, Frazier would be under team control until the 2022 season, so the Giants would be looking at more than just a rental player.
Given his limited upside, Frazier does not have the same value as someone like Josh Bell, who the Pirates just traded to the Nationals for an underwhelming return, so it would likely require less prospect capital. If the Giants were to swing a trade, it’s hard to envision it costing more than two mid-level prospects.
Even this deal might be more costly than Frazier’s market would require. Both Rivera and Teng rank among the top 20 prospects in the Giants system, but neither are in the conversation to be in the top ten. In the case of Rivera, he flashes an above-average curveball and fastball combo that could play up in a bullpen role. Teng has the potential to be a back-of-the-rotation arm with a good curveball and changeup that he commands well in the zone. Of course, neither has reached High-A.
Frazier has the type of skill set that they can get on the free-agent market as well. For example, Brock Holt could fill that same need for a left-handed bat while playing all around the field. So, it would be a balancing act for the Giants, but Frazier does seem like the type of player the front office targets.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates are open for business, then the SF Giants should see what it would cost to acquire utilityman Adam Frazier. While he’s been a solid everyday player for the Pirates, he could be an ideal super-utility player in San Francisco.