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Todd Frazier, once a Red Sox trade target, ‘glad’ he is now a Yankee

Todd Frazier (29) celebrated in the sixth inning after hitting a solo homer off Chris Sale.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

On July 18, when the White Sox scratched Todd Frazier from the lineup, he thought the same thing as the rest of the baseball world. The 31-year-old believed that the longstanding rumors about his inevitable trade to the Red Sox had come to fruition.

But quickly, Frazier learned that he didn’t know the plot in which he was a leading actor.

“I got a bunch of calls saying, ‘Now it’s the Yankees.’ It went back and forth,” said Frazier. “It was like two-and-a-half hours — like the whole game — I was in there trying to figure out what was going on. It’s your life. You’ve got to worry about it sometimes.”


By the time Chicago had completed its game that night against the Dodgers, Frazier had learned his fate. The New Jersey native would play for the same team he watched so often while growing up.

“Glad I’m a Yankee,” he said.

Even so, over the last two days at Fenway Park, Frazier has offered reminders of why he seemed like such a natural target for the Red Sox. On Friday, he blasted a homer to left-center against Matt Barnes. On Saturday, he again cleared the fabled left-field barrier by flicking a breaking ball from Chris Sale into the first row of the Green Monster seats.

Frazier acknowledged that Saturday’s solo homer — which ultimately proved decisive in the Yankees’ 4-3 victory — represented a gift of the Red Sox’ home park.

“All you’ve got to do is basically touch it here, get it in the air, and the ball will go. That’s what happened, man,” said Frazier. “I choked up, just got a good piece of the bat onto it, and away it went . . . Perfect placement.”

The homer marked the second of the season for Frazier against Sale, a former teammate and good friend while both were with the White Sox last year. The third baseman also homered off Sale earlier in the season in Chicago.


“We’ll probably talk about it over a beer later down the road in a couple years,” said Frazier. “Good friend of mine, but when we’re in those lines, he understands we’re going after each other.”

No other player in baseball has multiple homers against Sale this year. Still, even as Frazier has claimed bragging rights against his former teammate, such production has been sporadic since his arrival in New York. He’s hitting .226/.348/.398 with five homers in 29 games.

Even assuming that Frazier might have benefited from Fenway’s cozy dimensions — he’s hitting just .182/.315/.250 at Yankee Stadium and has more homers in two contests in Boston (two) than he has in the Bronx (one) — the Sox haven’t had to second-guess his move to a rival. After all, the Sox continue to benefit from the otherworldly production of 20-year-old third baseman Rafael Devers, who possesses a .364/.424/.727 line with eight homers in his first 20 big league games.

If the Sox had traded for Frazier rather than the versatile Eduardo Nunez, who has taken over at second with Dustin Pedroia on the disabled list, Devers likely would have been blocked. That fact alone suggests that the Red Sox haven’t had to doubt their decision to pass on Frazier.

Even so, for a night, the fact that he did end up going to New York proved painful to the Red Sox, with Frazier helping to ensure the Yankees remained within four games of their foremost rivals in the AL East.


“Big character win today,” said Frazier. “I’m just happy I could be a part of it.”

Follow Alex Speier on Twitter @alexspeier.