Mariners deal for '21 All-Star Frazier

November 27th, 2021

The Mariners made their first impact move of the offseason, and it fills a direct need. Seattle on Saturday acquired second baseman Adam Frazier from the Padres in exchange for left-handed pitcher Ray Kerr and outfielder Corey Rosier, both prospects.

Frazier was a 2021 All-Star and is slated to become a free agent after this season.

“Adam is a proven, versatile, well-rounded player,” Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said in a statement shortly after the clubs made the transaction official. “His presence makes our lineup longer and our team more complete.”

Frazier, who the club aggressively pursued ahead of last season’s Trade Deadline because of his bat-to-ball skills and hitting ability, will take over the everyday second-base job -- at least for now. His long-term role will hinge on what other personnel Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto acquires this offseason.

“Jerry and I had a great talk,” Frazier said. “I’m excited to be joining and they're excited to have me. I’m ready to get to work. … [I'll] play a lot of second base and maybe hop in the outfield. That’s how I feel I can impact the team.”

Frazier, who will turn 30 in December and is entering his final year of salary arbitration, hit .305/.368/.411 with 36 doubles, five triples, five homers, 43 RBIs and 10 stolen bases last season for the Pirates and Padres, who acquired him in a Deadline deal that Pittsburgh favored over Seattle’s. Sources at the time felt that the Mariners’ offer was competitive, and Dipoto said that the club has had its eye on Frazier since as far back as 2016.

“This dates back to midseason last year,” Dipoto said. “We thought we were at the goal line to acquire Adam at the Trade Deadline last year; obviously, we missed out. We stayed in touch with the Padres as we headed into the offseason, knowing that they had a pretty robust roster. We just liked the player so we stuck with it through the GM Meetings until yesterday, when we finally were able to agree on players and push it across.”

Frazier’s glove is versatile, which always made him a coveted target of Dipoto’s front office. If the Mariners were to, say, acquire one of the premier infield free-agents, a la Trevor Story or Marcus Semien, the club believes it has the defensive versatility to move Frazier to another position. In a perfect world, they would use him all over, including both corner outfield positions.

“Frankly, as we sit here and work our way through the free-agent market or the potential for trade,” Dipoto said, “we felt like adding Adam made us a deeper team without stopping us from doing anything else we would have wanted to do. That’s double the fun. We can continue to add to our team because Adam is so versatile.”

Dipoto also said that beyond the deal for Frazier, that the club has two active offers out to free agents currently, including one that is “notable.”

“You can’t help but be excited as a baseball person, or a baseball fan,” Dipoto said of the active free-agent market.

Kerr, 27, was recently added to Seattle’s 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft after his stellar 2021 season, in which he had a 3.18 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings. His 100-mph velocity and pure stuff, as well as his huge ascent last season, made him one of the Mariners’ more intriguing prospects.

Seattle selected Rosier, 22, in the 12th round of the 2021 MLB Draft out of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He hit .380 with three homers and a 1.022 OPS over 32 games, all but one for the Low-A Modesto Nuts.