SAN DIEGO – The rich get richer.
This week, the San Diego Padres announced the acquisition of Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star second baseman and outfielder Adam Frazier in a swap for three minor leaguers. The 29-year-old is the latest piece of the puzzle for Padres General Manager A.J. Preller in a bid to win the NL West for the first time since 2006 and send a team to the World Series for the first time in more than two decades.
“The biggest thing is we go down here, down the stretch, and hopefully into October where we want to play and guys we feel like are winning type at-bats, winning type of players – he checks a lot of boxes,” Preller said. “Hopefully, be a big contributor for us over the course of the next couple of years.”
Frazier was the National League’s starting second baseman in the MLB All-Star Game in Denver. He’s hitting .324 on the year — second-best in the NL — with four home runs, 32 RBIs and a league-leading 125 hits.
He joins an infield already ripe with All-Stars in Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth.
Although spending much of time in Pittsburgh — the team that drafted him out of Mississippi State in 2013 — at second base, Frazier expects to bounce around a bit in San Diego.
“Whenever you’re on a team like this, wherever I can help the team win is where I’m going to be and I’m ready to do that,” Frazier said.
Preller, who has been the team’s general manager since 2014, did not specify where he envisions Frazier playing on the field. He’s instead leaving that decision to manager Jayce Tingler.
“That’ll be up to Jayce, the coaches, in terms of a feel for the pitcher that’s on the mound,” Preller said. “Who’s hot, you know possible injuries but again, for us, he’s a very valuable player not just for the next few months but into next year.”
In exchange for Frazier, the Padres traded infielder Tucupita Marcano, outfielder Jack Suwinski and right-handed pitcher Michell Miliano. Pittsburgh also is sending $1.4 million to the Padres as part of the deal, according to the Associated Press.
Frazier will not be a free agent until after the 2022 season at the earliest, which means he’s likely to play a role in the team’s stretch run this year and into next season as well. He becomes just the third player in MLB history to lead the league in hits and get traded halfway through the season. The last player to have that happen was Willie McGee in 1999.
”I’m just somebody who plays hard, scrappy kind of player, gonna leave it out on the field, do whatever it takes to win,” Frazier said. “I take pride in that.”
Frazier is one of a few marquee names to change teams in the past several weeks with baseball’s trade deadline looming. The deadline is set for 1 p.m. Friday.