PORT ST. LUCIE — Todd Frazier is pumped. The Little League legend from Toms River, N.J., who loves Frank Sinatra, brings a whole new meaning to “New York, New York.’’
It was Frazier who came to the Yankees last summer and helped them come within one victory of the World Series.
Now he will try to work his baseball magic for the Mets, who desperately needed a third baseman following the demise of David Wright.
New York, New York.
Along the way last October, it was Frazier’s Yankees who knocked Mickey Callaway’s Indians out of the playoffs. Frazier can help the new Mets manager get over the hump in Flushing.
When word surfaced Monday night that Frazier had come to an agreement with the Mets on a two-year, $17 million deal, pending a physical, first reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, I immediately thought back to what Callaway said Friday during a lunch-time visit.
Callaway gushed about all the ability Frazier possessed and was hoping the Mets would be able to come to an agreement with the free agent. Three days later it’s a reality. The manager got his wish and now the Mets have one less hole to plug. Their lineup is set.
When reached Monday night by The Post, Frazier said he could not talk about the deal because the paperwork has yet to be completed, but did say that he was pumped. Frazier’s parents have a home not too far from First Data Field.
Frazier’s defense alone will be a huge help to the Mets. He tightened up the Yankees defense immensely last season. Before you can jump all over the Mets for their overall lack of athleticism consider these comments by Callaway.
“He’s a great defender,’’ Callaway said Friday. “He’s a great base runner, too. He can really, really run the bases. Every time we’d go into town and played him, our bench coach, who controlled the running game, would come up to me and say, ‘We’ve got to make sure to keep Frazier close at first, he gets that running lead.’ He puts pressure on the other team.’’
Then Callaway summed up Frazier perfectly.
“He’s a baseball player. And you know what he did at the end of the season when we were preparing to play the Yankees, he made some adjustments at the plate. He stopped chasing balls,” Callaway said. “He stopped trying to go down there and flick that ball to left, he was laying off balls that he was going after in the past. You look at his average (.213), but that’s going to change if he continues to do what he did the last month of the season. And he can hit some home runs.’’
Frazier bashed 67 home runs the last two seasons.
Now he will be doing that for the Mets. This was such a natural fit it had to be done, a strong move by general manager Sandy Alderson and the Mets for a lot of reasons. Frazier turns 32 next Monday. Yoenis Cespedes is 32. Jay Bruce will be 31. If the pitching can come together it’s now or never for these Mets.
Frazier wanted to stay in New York. He loved being with the Yankees, but a deal could not be cut with the prospect-rich Yanks.
The Mets are home now and if by some miracle Wright can somehow overcome all his physical woes and contribute in some way to the Mets at third base, Frazier has the ability to slide over to other corner of the infield and play first base.
Frazier simply makes the Mets a better team. He gives them more personality. He is a clubhouse presence and leader. He owns up to his mistakes and shows the younger players how to act and he has fun. Remember, he came up with the “Thumbs Down’’ gesture at Citi Field, taking it from a Mets fan, and ran with it.
Now it’s thumbs up for the Mets. The Yankees’ loss is the Mets gain.
Todd Frazier can write another New York, New York story with the Mets.
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