Interest in Frazier heating up at Meetings
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- During the third day of the Winter Meetings, interest in third baseman Todd Frazier seemed to percolate.
Reports of talks regarding Frazier between the Reds and at least two teams -- the White Sox and Indians -- surfaced on Wednesday.
According to MLB.com's Phil Rogers, the Reds and White Sox discussed a deal for Frazier, but the talks stalled when Cincinnati asked for Chicago's No. 1 prospect -- shortstop Tim Anderson -- to be part of the return.
USA Today reported that Frazier was also a topic of discussion between the Reds and Indians, but a source told MLB.com on Wednesday afternoon that a deal was unlikely because there wasn't a good match. It was not known which players the Reds wanted in return.
"We've been active in several trade discussions," said Walt Jocketty, Reds president of baseball operations, without identifying players. "I guess you could say we've been underwhelmed with some offers."
There have been some suggestions that the Reds are asking for a lot -- perhaps too much -- in trade talks for their players.
"As one GM told me, we all seem to overvalue our own players. I think it seems to be the case. I don't think we have. Other people have," Jocketty said.
In addition to being an All-Star third baseman, Frazier has a very friendly contract that is attractive to clubs. He will make $7.5 million in 2016, the second year of his two-year, $12 million contract, and he will be third-year arbitration-eligible in 2017 before he can become a free agent.
Frazier, who will turn 30 on Feb. 12, set career highs in 2015 with 35 home runs and 89 RBIs while hitting .255/.309/.498. Although he endured a slump in the second half, his value appears strong.
The Reds -- in the middle of a rebuild -- are seeking young talent in return for any trades. Trades made over the past year have improved the organizational pitching depth, but they still would like to improve offensively.
"We're looking at the best talent, but we're focusing on position players," Jocketty said. "We're also looking at arms, too. We've looked more in depth at position players than pitching. We've also talked with clubs about some pitchers in possible parts of a trade."
The Reds came to Nashville optimistic that trades would be made, but hopes were dashed significantly after efforts to deal closer Aroldis Chapman were stalled after a report of alleged domestic violence surfaced on Monday night.
Jocketty and new general manager Dick Williams have kept plugging away on other trade talks with clubs. Trying to sign a veteran starting pitcher this winter, they've also been touch with agents.
Williams, who was promoted from assistant GM last month, has taken on a more active role this year.
"I've been a lot more involved in phone calls and touching base with other clubs. I've had a lot more direct conversations," Williams said. "It's been multitasking."
There is also an opening in left field, and the Reds are going to look both at in-house options and outside. Adam Duvall could be their answer -- possibly in a platoon.
"We're happy with what we saw in Duvall. Our coaching staff likes him, but we'll look at other options, too," Jocketty said.
It does not appear that No. 1 prospect Jesse Winker, who spent 2015 at Double-A Pensacola, will be in the mix to compete for the spot.
"It's still early, maybe. He really should play in Triple-A. He shouldn't be rushed too early," Jocketty said.
Jocketty did not express disappointment or frustration in being unable to swing a trade so far.
"You always like to get something done sooner than later to get things off your plate and move on," he said. "I've done this long enough to know, we've gotten deals done after we've left here. As long as we get the value and return that we feel we need to get to improve our club, I don't care when it happens."
The Winter Meetings end with the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday morning. The Reds, who have the second pick in the first round, have space on the 40-man roster to make a selection.
"We're looking forward to it. It's an opportunity to improve the club," Williams said. "We are confident based on the pool of players that someone will be there that we like."