Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Jason Frasor Smart to Take Arbitration

Jason Frasor really had no choice but to accept the Blue Jays' offer of arbitration. Despite a high bar set for setup relievers by the Joaquin Benoit's deal with Detroit, Frasor really wasn't in a position to cash in on what will be a banner year for relievers. Which is tough luck for Frasor because he is really good at what he does.

Frasor's problem was being saddled as a Type A free agent. So even though he has a golden arm and knows how to use it, no team would give up two draft picks for a reliever. No matter how good the reliever is, that's a poor value proposition for teams to make. Frasor should sue whatever organization makes up the free agent ranking system.

But Frasor will be okay. Either his arbitration case will use the Benoit signing as a baseline or the Blue Jays will offer him a decent contract now that they have no choice but to keep him. By accepting the arbitration offer, Frasor guaranteed himself a job with the Blue Jays for 2011. This Fan has to wonder if the Blue Jays would rather have had the draft picks.

But Frasor's decision will be worth it to the Blue Jays too. He will cost them some money (and those two lost draft picks), but Frasor is terrific out of the bullpen. He struck out 9.2 batters per nine innings in 2010 and had a sterling homer per nine rate of 0.6 (0.8 for his career). Frasor walked more batters this year than in 2009 and he gave up more hits. But the hits are due in part to a high BABIP of .320. Plus, Frasor was much more effective in the second half than in the first. In the second half, he was just as effective as his 2009 season (his best in the majors) but the first half stats skewed his results for the entire year.

This Fan may be dense, but the whole Type A and Type B thing has the Fan completely stumped. Frasor is a Type A but Kerry Wood is a Type B as is Kevin Gregg? It all seems rather arbitrary and it ends up costing guys like Frasor a lot of money because he isn't the type of risk/reward that would warrant a team to give up two draft picks to sign him.

But that's where Frasor found himself and accepting arbitration buys him another year and perhaps then, he'll get a different rating or perhaps, smarter still, this silly system will go away and be replaced by something that makes sense. Meanwhile, Frasor has a home for another year and the Blue Jays have the services of a great reliever.

No comments: