MLB Trade Deadline: How Adam Frazier’s Affects Padres’ Odds, Projections

MLB Trade Deadline: How Adam Frazier’s Affects Padres’ Odds, Projections article feature image
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(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images). Pictured: Adam Frazier

  • Sean Zerillo predicts the Padres will still finish third in the NL West with 92.9 wins.
  • The Dodgers are first in his model with 97.2 wins and the Giants are second with 94.3 victories.
  • San Diego's futures odds have changed slightly since last week.

Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman and outfielder Adam Frazier has been traded to the San Diego Padres in exchange for three prospects, ESPN reported on Sunday.

Frazier is having a career year with a slash line of .327/.392/.453 to go along with an MLB-leading 125 hits and a bWAR of 3.1.

He was the starting second baseman for the National League in this year’s All-Star Game and also leads the Majors in plate appearances.

The 29-year-old is currently making $4.3 million and is eligible for arbitration next season. He has one more year of team control before he can become an unrestricted free agent.

He had previously hit just .273/.336/.413 in his first five seasons in MLB and was consistently a below-average to average hitter before turning it around this season.

Frazier will likely take at-bats away from Padres right fielder Wil Myers. Myers has hit .255/.332/.443 over 319 plate appearances and has allowed more runs than he’s saved, according to FanGraphs. By comparison, Frazier has one defensive run saved above average this season, according to FanGraphs, and has nearly double the amount of hits.

The last time Frazier played a game in right field was 2018, but he has logged six games in left field this year.

There is a chance Frazier takes at-bats away from Padres starting second baseman Jake Cronenworth in order to play his more preferred position, but it’s unlikely to happen very often.

Cronenworth is hitting a respectable .278/.353/.469 over 418 plate appearances this season and has eight defensive runs saved at second base so far, according to FanGraphs.

The Padres’ odds to win the National League West at DraftKings are now +525, down from +550 last Thursday. San Diego is five games back from the San Francisco Giants for first place in the division.

San Diego’s odds to make the playoffs are now -2000, after having been -1400 at the sportsbook late last week. They are 5.5 games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds for the second wild card spot as of Sunday.

The Padres on Sunday had a 91.1% chance to make the playoffs and a 14.1% chance to win the division, according to FanGraphs.

San Diego’s odds to win the division have remained unchanged at +475 at BetMGM as of Sunday afternoon. Their World Series odds have actually lengthened from +850 to +900 at the sportsbook since last week.

The Padres’ odds to win the division have gone from +500 to +475 since last week at PointsBet. Their odds to win the World Series have remained at +800 over the same time frame.

The Pirates currently sit 18.5 games back in the wild card race and are 20 games back from the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers in the division. They have a 0.0% chance to make the playoffs or win their division, according to FanGraphs.

For reference, their odds to win their division at DraftKings are 1000/1.

Michael Miliano, Jack Suwinski and Tucupita Marcano are the prospects returning to Pittsburgh in exchange for the All-Star.

Frazier had been with the Pirates organization his entire career after being drafted by Pittsburgh in the sixth round of the 2013 MLB Draft. 

Sean Zerillo’s Take On The Trade

Adding Adam Frazier to the mix in San Diego improves their “True Talent” level to that of a 94.1 win team in my projections, up from 92.6 wins before the trade.

If the season were to restart tomorrow, I would still slot the Padres behind the Dodgers (100.4 True Talent Wins) but well ahead of the Giants (82.9).

In terms of a prorated record for this season, I project the Padres to finish at 92.9 wins, the third-best mark in their division behind the Dodgers (97.2) and Giants (94.3).

While 92-93 wins should be more than enough to secure a Wild Card spot in the NL, the Padres still have work to overcome a 5.5 game deficit in the NL West over their remaining 60 games.

The Padres have struggled against left-handed pitching this season (99 wrC+, 17th), and Frazier becomes the fourth regular lefty in their lineup.

Still, he’s having a fantastic season against same-sided pitching (140 wRC+) relative to his career mark (89 wRC+).

Preseason projections weren’t particularly high on Frazier, pegging him for about 1.5 WAR over an entire season, which aligns with my adjusted True Talent rating.

The rest of the season projections for 2021 are a bit more bullish based on Frazier’s performance to date.

Adam Frazier, Rest of the Season WAR Projections

  • Depth Charts: 1.0
  • Steamer: 0.9
  • ZIPS: 1.2

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