It’s still more than six weeks until MLB’s July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but more than a quarter of the way through the 2017 season, the buyers and sellers are starting to sort themselves out. Here’s a look at one trade rumor that’s floating around.
The rumor: The Red Sox are interested in White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier.
From the Globe on Sunday: Yes, the Red Sox have been scouting Frazier given their tenuous third base situation and the fact they want to give Rafael Devers more time to develop. Frazier has the perfect power swing for Fenway but has had an awful start (.198, four homers, 15 RBIs). Frazier is making $12 million this season, but the White Sox would eat some of that if a trade came to fruition.
Why: A lot about Trout’s and Harper’s Hall of Fame chances hinge on their health. Trout has been a tank, averaging 158 games a season from 2013 through last year. Harper’s struggled more to stay healthy, averaging 131 games over his first five seasons in the majors.
Healthy, Harper’s been an All Star-level player, earning nods for the National League team all but one season. These haven’t been courtesy nods either. Harper’s averaged 5.7 WAR for every 650 plate appearances for his career, with Baseball-Reference.com rating 5 WAR as an All-Star season. Granted, Harper’s only reached 650 plate appearances one season, his 2015 MVP campaign. Entering this year, he’s averaged 554 plate appearances.
Harper might be turning the page this season health-wise, having played in 40 of the Nationals’ 43 games so far. With his style of play, though, or his bulky frame, Harper might have a propensity for injury. This doesn’t bode well for his Hall of Fame chances.