Free-agent third baseman Todd Frazier has signed a two-year, $17 million deal with the Mets, a source told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. The deal, first reported by The Athletic, is pending a physical. With the signing, Asdrubal Cabrera is expected to be the Mets’ starting second baseman in 2018. Frazier, 31, had inked a $12 million, one-year deal with the White Sox last season. They traded him to the Yankees in late July. Frazier, who is from New Jersey, was received warmly when he returned to the New York City area.

He replaced Chase Headley at third base, as the Yankees liked Frazier’s defense over Headley’s. Frazier, known for his big, effusive personality, immediately had an impact in the clubhouse; he took on a leadership role, which is unusual for a player who arrives during the season in a trade. Overall, Frazier hit .213 with 27 homers and 76 RBIs in 147 games.

Frazier began his major league career in Cincinnati, where he became a two-time National League All-Star. The Reds traded Frazier to the White Sox prior to the 2016 season. He played in Chicago until this past July. Frazier won the Home Run Derby in 2015. He led Toms River (New Jersey) to the Little League World Series title in 1998.

With this move, the Mets continue their quietly active and cost-conscious offseason, as they have now added five players for a total of $72 million, with approximately $31 million spent for this season. Frazier, will provide quality defense at third base, can play first if needed, but comes with the knock of being a boom-or-bust player who can hit the long ball, but strikes out too much. The pros of this move include his power and defense, plus the contract he signed allows the Mets further financial flexibility to pursue another starter or relief arm (or both), while the main con is that this is not a major game changer for the team’s lineup, as it adds yet another player who strikes out too much, while not doing much to improve the team’s overall speed or approach at the plate.

The fact is though, general manager Sandy Alderson has done a great job of managing this year’s free agent market, and allowing the slow pace of the offseason to work for him, and allow him to do a lot without spending much. For all the flak the Mets took at the beginning of the offseason for not spending money, they have now become one of the more active teams of the offseason, adding Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Adrian Gonzalez, and Anthony Swarzak in addition to Frazier. While he may not have done enough to address a substandard bullpen, he’s now added four bats, three of whom could be starting with one helping to address bench depth, and he still has cash to work with while there are still over 100 free agents needing jobs with a week to go before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. We shall see what the results bring, but for now, Alderson has become a major winner of this year’s offseason.

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