Toms River’s Todd Frazier comes home…for now
In some ways it is my worst baseball nightmare come true and presents a dilemma that I’m having trouble wrapping my arms around.
Todd Frazier, who I’ve known since he was a young kid, who I’ve followed since his Little League days, who I have cheered for as a fan becomes a New York Yankee. Well when the clock struck midnight indeed it was not just a nightmare but a reality.
Following several hours of speculation that blew up Twitter last night and generated a lot of buzz on my Facebook page it became official. Frazier and relief pitchers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle were traded from the Chicago White Sox to the Yankees for struggling reliever Tyler Clippard and three minor league prospects.
Robertson and Kahnle add to what is now one of baseball’s best bullpens and the Yanks hope that Frazier fills a much-needed void at first base which has been a problem all season long.
Frazier of course is Toms River’s favorite baseball son, a local legend at 12 years old who has filled all the promise so many had for him. He of course helped Toms River East American win the Little League World Series 19 summers ago, led Toms River South to back-to-back state high school championships, broke records at Rutgers, won the Home Run Derby while in Cincinnati and has played in two All-Star games.
Now at the age of 31, the father of two gets to put on Yankee pinstripes and can commute from his Toms River home to the Bronx.
This has not been Frazier’s best season. He battled illness early and got off to a slow start but things began to turn around in early June. While struggling with a .206 batting average he does have 16 homers and 44 RBI’s and figures to play pretty much on an everyday basis after joining the team in Minnesota today.
Before Yankee fans from Ocean County get too excited and seek out Frazier jerseys with his new team they should keep in mind he is likely just a rental for the rest of this season. Todd is in the final year of his current contract and will become a free agent after the season and is not expected to be part of the Yankees long term plans.
However the future is now and for “The ToddFather” that means a chance to be part of a team that could be headed to the postseason. And I guess that means for at least four or five at-bats each game I have to root for a guy wearing pinstripes which is not easy for a Mets fan.