White Sox acquire Todd Frazier in three-team trade with Reds, Dodgers

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Cincinnati’s full-scale rebuild continues, as the Reds have traded All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier to the White Sox in a three-team deal that also involves the Dodgers.

Here’s the full deal:

White Sox get: Todd Frazier
Reds get: Jose Peraza, Scott Schebler, Brandon Dixon
Dodgers get: Frankie Montas, Trayce Thompson, Micah Johnson

Three teams swapping seven total players, all of whom are prospects except for the centerpiece of the entire deal Frazier. Peraza is the key to the Reds’ return and in order for the Dodgers to get involved in the deal by parting with him they receive the hard-throwing Montas from the White Sox.

Frazier had a huge first half for the Reds, making his second All-Star team and winning the Home Run Derby at home in Cincinnati, but then slumped in the second half and finished with totals right in line with his good but not great career norms. He hit .255 with 35 homers and an .806 OPS in 157 games overall, compared to a .259 batting average and .779 OPS from 2012-2014.

Frazier, who’s signed through 2017 at reasonable salaries, brings huge right-handed power to a White Sox lineup that already boasted one of MLB’s best right-handed hitters in Jose Abreu. Chicago previously acquired third baseman Brett Lawrie from Oakland, so that means either Lawrie is headed for second base or Frazier is headed for the outfield.

Peraza was traded from the Braves to the Dodgers in the three-team July blockbuster also involving the Marlins. He played just seven games for the Dodgers, but the 22-year-old prospect projects as an everyday shortstop or second baseman with good contact skills and plus speed. If the Reds end up trading longtime second baseman Brandon Phillips they could hand the position to Peraza immediately.

Schebler is a power-hitting 25-year-old corner outfielder who made his MLB debut for the Dodgers in June. He’s coming off a disappointing season at Triple-A in which he hit just .241 with 13 homers and a .731 OPS in 121 games, but previously put up big numbers at Single-A and Double-A. He projects as a role player but has some upside, whereas Dixon is a 23-year-old second baseman/outfielder viewed as a marginal prospect.

Montas throws extremely hard, but may end up as a full-time reliever rather than an impact starter. At age 22 he posted a 3.94 ERA and 108/48 K/BB ratio in 112 innings spread over 23 starts at Triple-A and also made his MLB debut with two starts and five relief appearances for the White Sox. He’s a high-upside arm, regardless of the role.

Thompson is best known as being NBA star Klay Thompson’s brother, but after posting mediocre numbers in the minors he had a fantastic MLB debut by hitting .295 with five homers and an .896 OPS in 44 games for the White Sox.  He’s a career .244 hitter in the minors, so don’t expect those big numbers to continue, but the 25-year-old center fielder has good speed and 20-homer pop.

Johnson is a 25-year-old second baseman who flopped when handed the White Sox’s starting job as a rookie. He’s hit .296 with 10 homers, 40 steals, and a .768 OPS in 143 games at second base and has enough upside to be a regular if things go well.

This is a very intriguing trade with a lot of moving parts, but the short version is that the Reds traded Frazier for solid but unspectacular middle infield prospect in Peraza, the Dodgers swapped that same middle infield prospect for a hard-throwing 22-year-old pitcher in Montas, and the White Sox added a 30-homer bat at the expense of a good pitching prospect and a pair of future role players.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.