Chicago Cubs: Breaking down a no-risk, high-reward Clint Frazier signing

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Clint Frazier / Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Consistency will be key for Clint Frazier moving forward

These one-year fliers give the Cubs opportunities to catch lightning in a bottle and then assess their options. If a player is performing well but doesn’t figure into your future, it makes them an easy trade chip. Maybe a young player like Frazier seems to flip the switch in Chicago and works their way into having a role going into the future. Even a player isn’t working out, it’s easy to just DFA them and move on. There’s simply no risk to these one-year deals.

But why does Frazier, in particular, make sense for the team? As stated before, there’s real talent to be accessed with Frazier. He never really was able to find consistent at-bats in the Bronx, as he never played more than 70 MLB games in a season, but he still has had spurts of offensive success.

In 2019, his season with the most playing time, he produced a modest 108 wRC+, with just a 6.8 percent walk rate. However, in the pandemic shortened 2020 season, he increased his walk percentage to 15.6 percent, slugged a career-high .511, and his wRC+ skyrocketed to 149. However, in 2021, despite his walk percentage staying relatively similar, he had by far his worst offensive season due to a massive power drop-off. His ISO dropped by over 100 points (.244 in 2020 to .131 in 2021), and his wRC+ fell all the way to 76.