It was only a matter of time.
Padres general manager A.J. Preller, the most prolific purveyor of trades in Major League Baseball since taking over in late 2014, swung his first deal of 2021 on Sunday, sending a prospect package to the Pirates for All-Star Adam Frazier, who leads the big leagues with 125 hits.
Frazier is a second baseman by trade but can also man the corner outfield spots. This year the 29-year-old is slashing .327/.397/.453 in his best professional season.
He went to his first All-Star Game this month, giving the Friars a unique lineup possibility. When Jake Cronenworth gives Eric Hosmer a day off at 1st and Frazier starts at 2nd (assuming Fernando Tatis Jr. is at short and Manny Machado is at 3rd) San Diego's entire starting infield will have been in the 2021 All-Star Game.
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Frazier has a year of control left, too. He's got one more year of arbitration and won't become a free agent until 2023, giving the Friars another low-cost left-handed bat and lengthening an already deep batting order.
In return the Pirates are expected to receive IF/OF Tucupita Marcano (San Diego's 5th-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline), RHP Michell Miliano and OF Jack Suwinski.
Marcano is a highly-regarded prospect who spent a few weeks with the big league club in April and has been productive as a 21-year-old at AAA El Paso. Miliano is a 21-year-old reliever who's appeared in 22 games between low-A Lake Elsinore and high-A Fort Wayne. Suwinski is having his best season as a pro at AA San Antonio. The 22-year-old is among the AA leaders in home runs.
The Padres have room on the 40-man roster for Frazier but will need to make room on the 26-man roster, which means either someone is going back to the minor leagues, someone is going on the Injured List, or there are more deals in the works.
Given the Friars need for starting rotation help, expect the last one to be happening at some point.
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