The Mets will be hoping Toddfather II will be even better than the original.
Veteran third baseman Todd Frazier spoke with the media for the first time since the Mets re-acquired him from the Texas Rangers just minutes before Major League Baseball’s 2020 trade deadline on Monday.
“Very surprised [to be back],” Frazier said. “We had five minutes left before the deadline, I was watching TV… and [Rangers GM Jon Daniels] told me I was traded.”
“Lo and behold I’m back with the Mets. It’s a good surprise, didn’t expect it, but it’s very, very good.”
The 34-year-old New Jersey native spent two seasons with the Mets from 2018-2019 where he quickly developed into a veteran leader and presence that found ways to keep things loose in the clubhouse.
“I like to bring energy and fun,” he said, which will be a tall task considering how bleak things have become around the organization.
The Mets entered Wednesday night’s game against the Orioles six games under .500 while on a five-game losing streak. In this unprecedented 60-game season, such a slide does plenty of damage, especially for a team that has struggled just to get to that .500 mark all season.
As general manager Brodie Van Wagenen alluded to on deadline day, Frazier’s job will not only be providing a punch of power, especially against left-handed pitchers but to help change the narrative around the team.
“We’re a collective group coming together. Collectively understanding that you’re good. Being positive, [bringing] energy… and focus,” Frazier said. “Not looking at the numbers… whatever I’m batting now, whatever I’m pitching now, who cares? We need to win.”
“You need to win at all costs… We need to put W’s on the board in a hurry. You’re never out of it.”
Despite their rocky start to the 2020 season, the Mets are still within touching distance of an expanded postseason spot, even if they sit in fourth place within the NL East.
“I have a lot of playoff experience so it’s just knowledge of understanding that you’re never out of it. That’s the focus that we need to have,” Frazier said. ” It’s one of those things you need to focus on winning. If you’re not focused on winning, it’s going to be very tough. The losing streaks you have to cut off quickly and the winning streaks you have to ride the wave.”
He will have to contend with a log jam of infielding options in order to get some playing time during his second Mets stint, but he got the nod at third base Wednesday night while JD Davis — who was plunked on the hip over the weekend — returned to DH.
“I’m just here to provide whatever I can to help this team. I’m not stepping on anybody’s toes,” Frazier said. “It was really exciting to see all the guys.”
That included first-year manager Luis Rojas, who Frazier described as “a breath of fresh air.”
“I’m happy he’s the manager,” he added.
But Rojas will have to make the decisions of juggling Davis, Andres Gimenez, Luis Guillorme, Frazier, and even Jeff McNeil as potential infield options throughout the rest of the season, meaning at-bats might be at a premium.
“I’m ready to play every game but if not, I’m ready to pinch-hit,” he said. “Whatever they’re feeling.”