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The Cubs should sign Clint Frazier

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There are injury caveats, but he could have big upside.

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

News item:

Clint Frazier was Cleveland’s No. 1 pick (fifth overall) out of high school in Georgia in 2013. He was traded to the Yankees in 2016 as part of the Andrew Miller deal and made his MLB debut for the Yankees the following year.

And then the concussions started. Here’s a summary of all of Frazier’s various run-ins with outfield walls:

Frazier, back in 2018, crashed headfirst into the left-field wall in a spring training game in Bradenton, the effects of which lingered throughout the entire season; as a result, his age 23 campaign consisted of just 41 plate appearances.

Not only was that year impacted, but Frazier admitted recently that his 2019 season was impacted as well by the aftereffects. Concussions are terrifying. This is nothing to mess with.

The context of the concussion truly colors Frazier’s entire career. His 2020 breakout seemed to come later than many anticipated, but if you factor in 1.5 lost years, essentially, the timeline begins to make more sense.

This latest update is frightening, to say the least, and lends credence to the conspiracy theory that Frazier may have been compromised at some point this spring, leading to his otherwise unexplained backslide.

On March 9 this Frazier ran hard into another wall in Lakeland, FL... at Detroit’s spring training site

Concussions can ruin a career. Just ask Justin Morneau. or going back to a guy who used to run into walls all the time before they were padded, Pete Reiser. Frazier could be a modern-day Reiser, though he hasn’t been able to put together enough playing time to even do as well as Reiser did (two top-6 MVP finishes before he was 24).

So why Frazier? The Cubs just signed a similar player in Harold Ramirez. I’d sign Frazier because, even with the concussions, he’s got more upside than Ramirez. The two are, oddly enough, exactly the same age — both born September 6, 1994. Frazier has more upside than, say, Michael Hermosillo or Greg Deichmann, if the Cubs were worried about a 40-man roster spot, either of those players could probably be sent through waivers.

I’d sign Frazier to a major league deal. If he gets to Spring Training and can’t play, he could simply be released. It’s worth noting this tweet sent out by Frazier last month:

So, would you sign Clint Frazier for the Cubs?

Poll

Clint Frazier...

  • 24%
    ... the Cubs should sign him to a major league contract
    (191 votes)
  • 29%
    ... the Cubs should sign him, but only to a minor league deal or split contract
    (234 votes)
  • 45%
    ... the Cubs should not sign him
    (354 votes)
  • 0%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (6 votes)
785 votes total Vote Now