CHICAGO (AP) — All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier was dealt from the Cincinnati Reds to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday as part of a three-team, seven-player trade that also included the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Los Angeles received second baseman Micah Johnson, right-hander Frankie Montas and outfielder Trayce Thompson from the White Sox, and Cincinnati got infielders Brandon Dixon and Jose Peraza and outfielder Scott Schebler from the Dodgers.
The 29-year-old Frazier, who won last summer’s All-Star Home Run Derby in Cincinnati, was an NL All-Star in each of the last two seasons and hit .255 this year with 43 doubles, 35 homers and 89 RBIs.
Frazier has a $7.5 million salary next year and can become a free agent after the 2017 season.
The move gives the White Sox a run producer and solid defensive third baseman who grew into a clubhouse leader in Cincinnati. Frazier — a Jersey boy dubbed the ToddFather in Cincinnati — had in many ways become the face of Cincinnati’s franchise after he won the All-Star Game Home Run Derby so dramatically in July at Great American Ball Park.
Teams started expressing an interest in Frazier during the winter meeting last week.
“This was very difficult to do,” Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty said after informing Frazier. “It was a difficult phone call to make. But as we set out to get this team back in contention as quickly as we can, we felt this was part of the process to get to this point.”
Frazier’s home run derby title was the best moment in Cincinnati’s disappointing season that ended in a 64-98 record and prompted the Reds to start a full-scale rebuilding.
They dealt starting pitchers Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake in July, leaving them with an all-rookie rotation. They had a deal in place to ship closer Aroldis Chapman to the Dodgers this month before an offseason domestic dispute became public, putting the deal on hold.
Jocketty is talking to other teams about Chapman.
“We’re not close to anything yet, but we continue to talk to clubs and clubs have expressed interest,” he said. “I don’t know how to determine when that might happen.”
Cincinnati plans initially to move shortstop Eugenio Suarez to third base. He started 95 games at shortstop last season in place of Zack Cozart, who had reconstructive knee surgery but is expected back next season.
The Reds plan to use Peraza as a second baseman. They’ve tried to trade Brandon Phillips, but his large contract has been an issue. Phillips’ deal will pay him $13 million in 2016 and $14 million the following year.
The 24-year-old Thompson, who grew up south of Los Angeles in Rancho Santa Margarita, made his big league debut in August and hit .295 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 44 games. He was an International League All-Star this year, when he hit .260 with 23 doubles, 13 homers and 39 RBIs in 104 games at Triple-A Chatanooga. Thompson is a brother of Golden State guard Klay Thompson and a son of former NBA player Mychal Thompson.
Montas, 22, was 0-2 with a 4.80 ERA in two starts and five relief appearances for Chicago last season and 5-5 with a 2.97 ERA in 23 starts at Double-A Birmingham.
Schebler, 25, also made his big league debut this year and hit .250 with three homers and four RBIs in 19 games for the Dodgers.
Peraza, obtained by the Dodgers from Atlanta on July 30, made his major league debut on Aug. 10 and went 4 for 22 in seven games.
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