The Royals are traveling home from Nashville, having wrapped up the Winter Meetings without any big headline moves, just the signings of Joakim Soria and Chris Young. However, many of the discussions they had this week could serve as the framework for deals later this offseason. Jayson Stark at ESPN brought up an interesting new name the Royals may be pursuing - Reds slugger Todd Frazier.
Most fascinating tidbit I heard today: The Royals talked to the Reds about dealing for Todd Frazier. Presumably would play him in LF— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 10, 2015
Frazier has played primarily third base in his five year career with the Reds, but he has played 13 games in left field, where the Royals would presumably play him. Frazier won the Home Run Derby in Cincinnati this past summer and is a two-time All-Star. He hit .255/.309/.498 with 35 HR 89 RBI and 43 doubles. Cincinnati is a small ballpark conducive to home runs, but he did not have a huge split for home runs, hitting 19 at home with 16 on the road. He did hit just .233/.285/.448 on the road, which might give the Royals pause. Frazier strikes out 20% of the time, which may be higher than the Royals would like. Transitioning a third baseman to left-field in a spacious outfield may be a gamble too, although it obviously worked for Alex Gordon.
The 30-year old Frazier is under club control for two more seasons and will earn $7.5 million under his contract for next season. It would take a pretty good haul of prospects to land Frazier since the Reds are not in a hurry to move him. Stark follows up by speculating the Royals would have to give up Raul Mondesi and Miguel Almonte, a package they are not willing to give up.
The Reds are in a rebuild and have talked to Frazier with the Indians and White Sox as well. This could also very well be a way to gain leverage against free agent outfielders the Royals are pursuing, including Alex Gordon. With Dayton Moore seemingly frustrated at the high asking price of the free agent market however, it would make sense for him to at least explore what is available in trades.