If Todd Frazier needs something to do after he retires as a player, he could always become the mayor of Cincinnati, following in the footsteps of Jerry Springer and others. He is an icon in a city that worships at the altar of players in a way that few cities do, and given his accomplishments, his personality and his name recognition, Frazier probably would win an election there with a margin that would make politicians jealous.
But for some rival evaluators, Frazier's standing with the Reds has become a symbol for the direction of the franchise -- just as the issue of taxes is often used as a barometer for assessing Republicans and Democrats.
It's becoming standard operating procedure in Major League Baseball for teams to pare down their rosters to the bone in a strategic effort to lose, to better position the franchise to seize high-end talent in future drafts. The Astros went through this cycle, as did the Cubs, and the Phillies and Braves are now following the same strategy.
If the Reds try to do this as well as they work to escape the shadows of the Cardinals, Pirates and Cubs in the NL Central, then it would make a lot of sense for Cincinnati to move Frazier and other fan favorites. But some rival executives say they have gotten no indications the Reds are ready to do this. "They aren't pushing Frazier at all," said an evaluator with a National League team.
If they want to give themselves the best chance to win in the future, they probably should be looking to move Frazier this winter, because this is the best possible time to move him.