Padres-Adam Frazier situation proves how aimless AJ Preller is on trade market

Thomas Carannante
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Adam Frazier #12 of the San Diego Padres hits a home run in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves on September 25, 2021 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Adam Frazier #12 of the San Diego Padres hits a home run in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves on September 25, 2021 at Petco Park in San Diego, California. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /
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Over the holiday weekend, San Diego Padres general manager AJ Preller couldn’t help himself. He had to make a trade, didn’t he? Couldn’t have just kicked back and relaxed for Thanksgiving.

Instead, he spent time trying to offload what was once believed to be a game-changing acquisition in Adam Frazier, who was acquired at this year’s trade deadline from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

But it didn’t go as planned. After an All-Star first half on the other side of the country (.324 average, .836 OPS), Frazier hit just .267 with a .662 OPS in 57 games with the Padres. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers made the blockbuster of the year when they imported Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from the nation’s capital … after a Scherzer deal with the Padres fell through.

Four months later, the Pads are moving on. After sending three top prospects to the Pirates for Frazier, they’re now sending Frazier to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for two prospects.

The Padres trading Adam Frazier to the Mariners proves they’re still failing to catch the Dodgers.

What’s worse? Frazier not working out with the Pads after the team couldn’t figure out a way to properly utilize him, or the team bailing before finding a suitable role for him and using that 57-game sample size as their evidence? Frazier is primarily a second baseman, but that position is occupied by Jake Cronenworth.

Dodgers fans can’t help but think back to Preller’s first major dealing with the Padres years ago, when he traded Trea Turner in a three-team deal to acquire Wil Myers from the Tampa Bay Rays. Myers signed an extension with San Diego and has largely been OK — he certainly hasn’t provided what was expected of him and he’s bounced around without a true position. Not really what you want from someone who was brought in to be one of the franchise cornerstones. An overpay that ended up being underwhelming.

And now, they make a similar-type trade for Frazier and immediately bail to … save money to address other areas of the roster? What is this team doing? If you thought you needed Frazier four months ago, why would you not need him for 2022? If you didn’t need Frazier, then why did you think that was the luxury addition that needed to be made at the deadline? So much of the Padres’ dealings feel aimless and misguided.

Frazier is a legitimate asset, and for just $7 million in his walk year, the Padres couldn’t have asked for a more cost-effective player in their final year of arbitration eligibility. Now he’s gone, and we guess Preller will try another way to fit square pegs into a round hole.

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