The Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday continued their rebuilding process with the trade of third baseman Todd Frazier.
Frazier, a two-time All Star, was dealt to the White Sox as part of a three-team deal that included the Los Angeles Dodgers. For Frazier, who hit .257 with 108 home runs and 324 RBIs in four-plus seasons, the Reds acquired a trio of prospects — infielder Jose Peraza, outfielder Scott Schebler and infielder Brandon Dixon — from the Dodgers.
Walt Jocketty, the Reds president of baseball operations, said trade talks involving Frazier began to heat up during last week’s winter meetings.
“As difficult as it was, we feel like the players we got will be part of our future,” Jocketty said. “… We certainly appreciate all that Todd did when he was here. He was a big part of our club and our community — a real good guy to have on our team. It’s a good opportunity for him and we got some more quality young depth for our organization.”
Here are five more things to know about the Frazier trade:
1. Jose Peraza the key piece
The Reds have had their eye on Peraza, the fourth-rated prospect in the Dodgers organization, for a while. The 21-year-old middle infielder has 210 stolen bases in five minor-league seasons and a .302 batting average.
Jocketty said Peraza’s best fit would be at second base, which is currently occupied by Brandon Phillips. The Reds are reportedly in trade discussions with the Nationals for Phillips, according to Fox Sports.
“We identified (Peraza) as a guy we felt could be a second baseman or shortstop for us for a number of years,” Jocketty said. “He’s young and has had a lot of success at a young age. He does a lot of things well. … He’s got a chance to be a very good everyday player.”
2. Who plays third base?
“We’ll probably pencil in (Eugenio) Suarez,” Jocketty said. “The move to third will be pretty easy for him.”
Suarez impressed last season when he filled in at shortstop after Zack Cozart went down with a season-ending knee injury in June. Suarez hit .280 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs in 98 games. The Reds expect Cozart to be fully recovered and back at shortstop this season.
3. Who is Scott Schebler?
A left-handed hitter with some pop, the 25-year-old could be in left field on Opening Day as the starter or perhaps as part of a platoon with Adam Duvall. A Bruce trade might open a starting spot for both Schebler and Duvall.
Schebler, the Dodogers’ eight-ranked prospect, spent most of last season in Triple-A, hitting 13 home runs with 50 RBIs in 121 games. He played in 19 games last season for the Dodgers and hit three home runs. In 2013, he was the Dodgers’ minor league player of the year after hitting .296 with 27 homers, 96 RBIs in 125 games.
“He could possibly fit in as a platoon guy this year or better depending on what we see when get to spring training,” Jocketty said. “But he’s another guy we think has got some power and will hit well in our ballpark.”
4. Are the Reds done dealing?
Doubtful. Phillps and right fielder Jay Bruce are reportedly on the trading block.
“We’re going to continue to look at ways to improve the team and continue to build for the future,” Jocketty said. “It’s a transitional year for us. We expect to show progress and keep developing our young players.”
Jocketty also said he continues to hear from clubs about Aroldis Chapman, although nothing is imminent. The Reds had a deal in place last week to trade Chapman to the Dodgers, but that fell through because of domestic violence allegations against the Reds closer.
5. Opening Day lineup?
Assuming Phillips, Bruce and Chapman are traded, here’s a possible lineup for Opening Day on April 4 against the Philadelphia Phillies:
C: Devon Mesoraco
1B: Joey Votto
2B: Jose Peraza
3B: Eugenio Suarez
SS: Zack Cozart
LF: Adam Duvall
CF: Billy Hamilton
RF: Scott Schebler
SP: Anthony DeSclafani
CL: J.J. Hoover