Photos of White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier.
After he signed a couple of White Sox home jerseys for a teammate Saturday morning, Todd Frazier tossed some old shoes in cardboard box.
"Everybody thinks I’m leaving," the third baseman said with a grin as he straightened his locker stall.
There could be some truth in Frazier’s humor.
With the July 31 trade deadline approaching, Frazier’s days in a White Sox uniform could be numbered, as could those of closer David Robertson and some others.
Frazier will be a free agent after this season. Some teams, such as the Red Sox, who just designated third baseman Pablo Sandoval for assignment despite owing him roughly $50 million, are rumored to be very interested in Frazier.
Showing his sense of humor about the rumors, Frazier joked Friday that he had all the answers related to trade talk. He said he enjoyed all the speculation but wasn’t willing to divulge what he knows or doesn’t know.
"I’d get fired," Frazier joked. "That’s the answer.
"If it’s just a rumor, I love to see it. But you never know what’s going to happen until you finally get that call."
Truth is, Frazier could receive that call as a short-term rental for a contending team.
The 31-year-old is making $12 million this season, his seventh in the big leagues.
The Sox acquired him from the Reds in a three-way trade with the Dodgers in December 2016.
With the Sox in the early stages of a rebuild that has seen Chris Sale, Adam Eaton and Jose Quintana shipped away to help form one of the deepest farm systems in the game, Frazier knows he could be next.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Quintana told him rumors had distracted him a bit. Frazier, though, said he has no such issues.
"It might be a game of who’s next. You never know, a flip of a coin or it might be a game of wait and see or it’s a game of if they give us something, we’ll do something," Frazier said. "Maybe (Hahn’s) happy with what we have now. You never know what’s going on in his mind.
"We have the whole rest of the month to go to see what we’re going to do."
What Frazier has done this season — and through his career, really — might merit some attention from contenders looking to fill a void.
He produced career bests in home runs (40) and RBIs (98) last year, when he hit just .225. His average (.210 through Friday) and power numbers (16 home runs) are down this year, but he has been getting on base at a higher clip — 33.1 percent of the time this season compared to 30.2 last.
His .769 OPS puts him 11th among third baseman, and his 16 home runs would be tied for tops on the Red Sox going into Saturday.
"These guys seem to have a little bit of a gift, in that they are special in the way they are able to focus," Hahn said. "Occasionally, especially at this time of the year, trade stuff probably creeps in there."