Todd Frazier has opted out of his Minor League contract with the Pirates, a source told MLB.com on Friday. The club has not confirmed the news, which was first reported by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.
Frazier, 35, agreed to a deal with Pittsburgh on Feb. 20, giving the Pirates an experienced option at both infield corners. He fared well in camp, hitting .250/.353/.643 and leading the team in home runs with three in 12 games.
Frazier’s spot on the team was not a given, even with his 10 years of Major League experience. Ke’Bryan Hayes is set to get the vast majority of reps at third base in 2021, with Colin Moran holding down first base and Phillip Evans as another depth option at either corner.
“It’s a non-roster deal,” general manager Ben Cherington said shortly after signing Frazier. “Todd is obviously really aware of that. He’s coming into camp understanding no guarantees, but we’re excited to have him here. There are other guys on this roster already who check a lot of those boxes I just shared, too, who will be in that competition as well.”
With Frazier opting out of his contract, Evans appears set up to once again be the primary infield utility option for the Pirates. Evans hit 14-for-39 with two doubles and a homer in 2020 before having his season end due to a collision with Gregory Polanco. But Evans has picked up right where he left off, batting 11-for-28 (.393) with a double this spring. Wilmer Difo also can play all four infield positions.
Frazier’s departure brings the Pirates’ Spring Training roster down to 40 players, including seven on Minor League deals.