Well, this is a surprise.
Jon Heyman reports that Todd Frazier has exercised his opt-out from the Pirates, making him a free agent.
Todd Frazier has exercised his opt-out from the Pirates and will be a free agent. Led PIT with 3 HR this spring and had .996 OPS playing 1B & 3B. Healthy, still plans to play, will find best fit.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 26, 2021
This obviously changes the makeup of the team. I was expecting Frazier to be a guaranteed addition to the bench. This likely means that Phillip Evans will make the team, giving the Pirates a super utility guy who can play the corner infield spots, along with the outfield.
Frazier had a .996 OPS and three homers. However, it was very clear from the start that he would be a bench guy. The fact that Ke’Bryan Hayes has been following up so strong to his rookie numbers makes it very unlikely that Frazier would get much playing time at third. He would be splitting time with Colin Moran at first, who the Pirates have under control beyond 2021.
It’s almost a weird situation from the start. Frazier seemed more like an insurance plan, in hindsight, than a guy who was a guarantee to make this team.