Though he isn’t the big marquee name many Chicago Cubs fans may be holding out for, the team signed Clint Frazier to a one-year deal in a move that can be best categorized as low-risk, high-reward. The 27-year-old was the crown jewel of the return to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller trade in 2016, and the former first-rounder was expected to be a force offensively for years to come in the Bronx.
The story didn’t unfold the way anyone would’ve liked, however, and after five roller coaster years that ended in a disastrous 2021 campaign for Frazier, he was unceremoniously DFA’d and released by the Yankees. Though Frazier has had many lows throughout his career, the Cubs seemed to think a reclamation project was a worthwhile gamble, and it’s hard to disagree with the logic of the deal.
While one-year prove-it deals certainly aren’t going to excite many, it fits the exact mold of what Jed Hoyer meant when he said the Cubs were going to “spend intelligently”. If the Cubs aren’t going to spend massive amounts of money on players that can be cornerstones of a rebuild, then signing players like Frazier to short-term deals is by far the next best option due to the number of avenues it opens for the team.
In all likelihood, Chicago likely isn’t going to be able to compete for the 2022 postseason regardless of who they signed, as the team simply has too many holes for now. As a result, holding back on spending until they’re likely to be more competitive makes sense, and players like Clint Frazier are the perfect candidates to take a flier on.