White Sox Acquire Todd Frazier

20140124_mm_soxfest0117Six days ago, I wrote that there will be New 3rd Baseman on the South Side of Chicago in 2016. Well, it turns out that I was partially correct. When the White Sox acquired Brett Lawrie from the Athletics last week, many Sox fans thought that they would be seeing Lawrie at the hot corner next spring. Sox management, however, thought otherwise.

Move over to 2nd base, Brett. Todd Frazier is coming to town.

On Wednesday morning, the White Sox acquired Frazier from the Reds in a three-team trade that included the Dodgers. The Sox sent Trayce Thompson, Frankie Montas, and Micah Johnson to the Dodgers in the deal.

The trade has finally answered the question of whether the Sox will spend this off-season preparing to win now or win later, as General Manager Rick Hahn is clearly loading up on his roster for 2016 and 2017.

The Sox trading for Frazier this morning certainly did not come out of the blue, as rumors have been swirling for months about a potential deal. What was surprising, however, is the fact that the Sox did not have to surrender any of the top prospects that were projected to trade away in the deal.

At the onset of last week’s Winter Meetings, Dan Hayes of Comcast Sports Net Chicago reported that the Reds were initially targeting Tim Anderson, who is regarded as the #1 prospect in the entire Sox organization. After the Sox made it clear that they wouldn’t give up Tim Anderson, the trade rumors began to include the names of Carson Fulmer and Carlos Rodon. At the end of the day, however, Rick Hahn was able to maneuver his way into gaining Frazier without losing any of the organization’s top prospects.

Thompson has had the most success at the Major League level of the three players the Sox sent to Los Angeles. He was recalled in August of last season and made the most of his time spent with the big league club. In 44 games, Thompson hit .295 with 5 HR and 16 RBI; but those numbers don’t tell his whole story as an .896 OPS and flashy outfield defense also helped him make a name for himself.

But for those of you who are dwelling on what Thompson “could have been” with the Sox, please also remind yourself that the Sox have not had a productive 3rd baseman since Joe Crede. To put Frazier’s potential impact in perspective, Frazier his 35 home runs in 2015. White Sox 3rd basemen hit a total of 24 home runs in 2014 and 2015 combined. His 35 home runs in 2015 were more than any Sox player hit last year, as were his 43 doubles. His 89 RBI from a season ago would have been second most on the Sox behind only Jose Abreu.

Are you still dwelling on Thompson? Ok, I’ll also throw it out there that he was a career .241 hitter in the minor leagues. Sure, he displayed a lot of talent in a brief period of time last year, but there is a very good possibility that Rick Hahn may have sold him at the right time.

PS – In somewhat related news, maybe now we can officially call the 2013 Jake Peavy trade a win for the White Sox. When the Sox traded Peavy to Boston, they received Avisail Gacia, Frankie Montas, and Jeffrey Wendelken. It’s been two and a half years since the trade and Garcia still hasn’t developed into the player that everyone had hoped; but in the past week, Hahn used Montas and Wendelken as pieces of two trades that brought Frazier and Lawrie to Chicago.