By Brendan Kuty
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Thumbs down?
Might be thumbs up.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has met with the representative for third baseman Todd Frazier, Cashman told reporters at Day 2 of the 2017 MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney Swan & Dolphin Resort on Tuesday night.
“Todd did a tremendous job for us and was a valuable member of our positive results on the field, as well as that clubhouse,” Cashman said, sitting at a table in a suite at the resort.
Cashman didn’t say how many times he’s met with Frazier’s agent, Brodie Van Wagenan of Creative Artists Agency. Frazier, a Toms River native, has said he would “love” to return to the Bronx after a midseason trade sent him there from the White Sox last year.
When he arrived, Frazier displaced regular third baseman Chase Headley.
Headley wouldn’t be an obstacle next season. The Yankees traded him and nearly all of his $13 million salary, alongside talented but inconsistent pitcher Bryan Mitchell, to the Padres in exchange for outfielder Jabari Blash, who doesn’t figure to be long for the pinstripes. Blash, a right fielder, is blocked by at least six outfielders on the club’s depth chart.
Frazier won’t just accept whatever the Yankees toss him, though.
A source with knowledge of his requests told NJ Advance Media early Tuesday that Frazier wants a multiyear deal. The Yankees may prefer Frazier on a one-year pact as they wait for Miguel Andujar, the team’s No. 5 overall prospect according to MLB.com, to mature into an everyday third baseman. Andujar’s bat seems ready but his defense, particularly his hands and throwing accuracy, is a work in progress, several opposing talent evaluators have told NJ Advance Media.
The Angels, who may be in the market for a third baseman, could prove as competition for the Yankees.
Cashman said the club could go into spring training with Andujar, Tyler Wade, Ronald Torreyes and top prospect Gleyber Torres competing for time at third base and at second base, where the team has a hole following the trade of Starlin Castro to the Marlins in exchange for slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
“We have some hungry, talented, inexperienced kids ready to prove they can take that next step. But at the same time, there might be some opportunities that exist, may it be free agency or trade that could make us gravitate in a different direction. So we’ll see,” Cashman said.