Minutes after the expiration of the 2020 Major League Baseball trade deadline, multiple reports indicated that the Mets had a last-second spending spree, re-acquiring third baseman Todd Frazier from the Texas Rangers, along with bringing on his teammate, catcher Robinson Chirinos, and picking up reliever Miguel Castro from the Baltimore Orioles.
“We made the deals and we wanted to give our team some additional help,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. “We’re not playing great baseball right now and we need to boost ourselves.”
The Mets sent their No. 12 prospect, pitcher Kevin Smith, to the Orioles in return for Castro while the Rangers are getting players to be named later.
Castro adds another arm to a list of unproven and unimpressive candidates for bullpen usage after injuries ransacked the organization’s pitching plan this season. The 25-year-old has a 4.30 ERA over six MLB seasons with a 1.409 WHIP.
“We could use the help in the back of the bullpen,” Van Wagenen said. “We think Castro can go a pretty significant way in doing that. We had to give up something.”
Frazier spent two seasons with the Mets from 2018-2019, slashing .233/.316/.418 with 39 home runs and 126 RBI over 248 games. Early indications are that he’ll be an immediate replacement for the injured JD Davis, who took a 98 mph Aroldis Chapman fastball off the hip over the weekend.
“I love Todd. Todd’s the man. He’s always welcome here in the clubhouse. Never a dull moment,” Mets first baseman Pete Alonso said upon hearing the news of Frazier’s acquisition. “He’s extremely infectious. A great dude and a great teammate. I can’t speak highly enough about the guy. He just brings good vibes wherever he goes.”
He also added that Frazier’s reintroduction to the clubhouse is “going to be fun.”
“He can come in, get a big hit, face a tough left-handed pitcher, he can hit a home run,” Van Wagenen added on the right-handed bat who does well against southpaws. “Because we have so much length to our lineup on the left side, teams can stack lefties against us.”
Also coming from the Rangers, Chirinos provides a defensive catching option for the time being behind Wilson Ramos after Tomas Nido revealed on Sunday that he was the player who tested positive for COVID-19 while the team was in Miami.
The 36-year-old Chirinos carries the promise of a powerful bat from the catcher’s spot, averaging 17 home runs over the last three seasons, but he’s struggled mightily at the plate this season in Texas, slashing .119/.224/.143 with no home runs and two RBI in 14 games.
“We wanted to show this team and this market that we aren’t quitting this season,” Van Wagenen said. “We have to play better baseball but these three pieces will help us do that.”