SARASOTA—Adam Frazier has learned the art of fitting into a new team. The 31-year-old second baseman is with his fourth team in less in two seasons.
Frazier began his career with nearly six seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ater he was named to the National League All-Star team in 2021, the Pirates traded him to the San Diego Padres in late July. After the season, San Diego traded him to Seattle.
After a season with the Mariners, Frazier joined the Orioles as a free agent, signing a one-year, $8 million contract with the Orioles last December.
“It’s different everywhere, and you’re trying to be comfortable with your daily routine, who you’re working with, the relationships with the teammates, coaches,” Frazier said.
“Every clubhouse is different with the personalities, the age of the guys. It’s really just building relationships, a new classroom essentially.”
It was much harder for Frazier when he was traded from the Pirates to the Padres.
“It’s a big difference,” Frazier said. “Being traded midseason is definitely tougher just because you’re trying to get your routine. Each place does things a little different with your groundball work, your [batting cage.]
“I didn’t expect things to be as different, but your literally have a different [batting practice] thrower, a different groundball routine. Where you’re living, the little details of your everyday life is uprooted in the middle of the season, and you’re trying to figure it out on the fly while you’re also trying to get hits in a major league ballgame. That’s tough.”
Frazier’s adjustment to the Padres wasn’t seamless. In 98 games with Pittsburgh, he hit .324 with an .836 OPS. In San Diego, he hit .267 with a .662 OPS.
“Starting at a new place fresh is not as bad because everybody’s trying to figure out each other, their routine and what they might be doing, ” Frazier said. “That’s not bad. The midseason part is definitely tougher.”
The Ed Smith Stadium complex is about 20 minutes away from where Frazier trained with the Pirates in Bradenton.
“That helps. We’d come to Sarasota from time-to-time for dinner or to walk around downtown or St. Armands,” he said. “That familiarity helps for sure. Last year being in Arizona, everything’s different. You don’t know what to expect. Everybody tries to claim Arizona’s a better spring, which I’m not sure I agree with. You have the beach here.
“I think being close to somewhere I was for a long time for the spring training aspect definitely helps.”
Along with starting pitchers Kyle Gibson and Cole Irvin and catcher James McCann, Frazier was an offseason acquisition for a young clubhouse. So was Mychal Givens, but the reliever had played with some of the Orioles before he was traded to Colorado in August 2020.
“Being a veteran part of it is not anything crazy for me,” Frazier said. “You’re trying to get to know some of the guys, what makes them tick, what their interests are. You start building relationships off of that.
“You know what to expect at this point in my career. I’ve been doing that for a long time. You know what you need to get the legs ready and workwise where you’re going to be ready for the season and able to take on 162 games. You understand your needs and the workload that you need in this month.
“Anywhere you’re at in this month, everybody’s on different schedules. Once you get the final groove, and you get into the action, the traveling, the games every day, the team starts molding and getting together.”
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB