The last-place Rangers have started to sell off veterans, trading reliever Jason Frasor to the Royals for minor leaguer Spencer Patton.
Frasor has a lengthy track record as a solid setup man with a sub-3.70 ERA in five of the past six years, including a 3.34 ERA and 30/14 K/BB ratio in 30 innings this season at age 36. He’s owed around $750,000 for the remainder of this season as part of a cheap one-year deal.
Patton is a 26-year-old Triple-A reliever, so there isn’t a whole lot of upside to be had, but he does have 60 strikeouts in 47 innings this season and 303 strikeouts in 225 innings as a pro. He could potentially step into Frasor’s old role in the Rangers’ bullpen and give Texas some value in 2015 and beyond.
Expect the Rangers to shop left-hander Neal Cotts next, as he’s another impending free agent reliever who could help contenders down the stretch.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Marlins, Mets, and Yankees have had discussions about a three-team trade in which Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto would go to the Mets. It’s not known which other players were discussed in the deal, but Rosenthal notes that the Mets wouldn’t be willing to part with Noah Syndergaard if they are only getting Realmuto in return.
Realmuto, 27, was the best offensive catcher in baseball in 2018, batting .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI in 531 plate appearances. He has two more years of team control remaining until he becomes eligible for free agency, adding to his value.
The Mets’ catching corps currently includes Kevin Plawecki and Travis d'Arnaud, so Realmuto would be a significant upgrade. Such a trade would be the club’s second big splash of the offseason as the Mets finalized a trade to acquire second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz from the Mariners earlier this month.
Interestingly, the Mets and Yankees haven’t made a deal involving major league players since December 2004, when the two sides swapped pitchers Mike Stanton and Félix Heredia, Rosenthal points out.