Todd Frazier Extension Was Right Move for Cincinnati Reds


In December of 2014, third baseman Kyle Seager signed a seven-year $100-million extension with the Seattle Mariners, and scuttlebutt started that the Cincinnati Reds would need to pony up a similar deal to keep Todd Frazier on the Riverfront.  There were many reasons why this did not make sense, not the least of which was that the Reds already had control over Frazier’s contract, via arbitration, through his age-31 season. On Sunday, after several rounds of negotiations, Cincinnati did extend Frazier, but the deal was modest and limits the team’s commitment, which is exactly what they need to do as rebuilding lurks in the shadows of Great American Ball Park.  

More from Cincinnati Reds

According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Frazier’s extension will pay him $4.5 million in 2015 and $7.5 million in 2016.  Both of those figures are fairly team-friendly, and the 2015 figure comes in at less than the midpoint ($4.8 million) of the arbitration figures exchanged earlier in the season — $3.9 million by the Reds, $5.7 million by Frazier.

This move is a good one for the Reds since it takes Frazier out of play of arbitration the next two season, keeps a big bat in the lineup for a reasonable wage and limits the Reds’ investment should Frazier decline quickly this year or next.  It’s interesting to note that this pact does not buy out all of Frazier’s remaining arbitration years since he’ll be eligible again in 2017, and he can be a free agent in 2018.

Frazier has mentioned that he would like to continue working on an even longer extension, and they may well still happen.  As cold as it seems, though, the Reds have little incentive to tack on more years or money to Frazier’s deal given that he has turned in just one truly superstar-level season and is old enough that his decline phase is likely just around the corner.

The deal the Reds signed with Todd Frazier over the weekend is just about perfect.  They’d be well served to let it ride and see where they, and Frazier, stand in a couple of years.

Next: Why the Cincinnati Reds Would be Smart to NOT Extend Todd Frazier