Top on the list of teams that are in need of one or two more players to push themselves over the hump in 2016 are the Houston Astros. While the Astros have a good combination of Jed Lowrie and Luis Valbuena at third base, Frazier would represent a clear upgrade over either individually or both collectively. Valbuena did a good job hitting for power in 2015, but that is about all he did well. A poor batting average and below average defense held him back. Lowrie on the other hand was actually a shortstop at the beginning of the season, but played most of his innings at third after returning from an injury. He profiles similarly to Valbuena with an average batting average and average defense.
Todd Frazier represents an offensive upgrade over both players, despite his poor second half performance last season, and is also a much better overall defender than either Valbuena or Lowrie. Valbuena and Lowrie combined for just over 2.0 WAR in just over 200 games last season while Frazier finished the season with 4.4 WAR in 157 games. Beyond play on the field, Frazier is only set to make just over eight million in 2016 and is arbitration eligible next year before becoming a free agent following the 2017 season. Lowrie on the other hand is owed $14 million over the next two seasons with a six million dollar option for 2018 or a one million buyout. Valbuena is entering his final season before free agency and is likely due for a raise in arbitration. Swinging a deal for Frazier would allow the Astros to unload one or both of these guys in order to bolster other parts of the roster.
The Astros certainly have the need and they also have the financial space to accommodate this sort of trade. The most important aspect of the trade is whether the Astros have the prospects to get this sort of trade done. A likely piece that could be a part of the trade for the Astros is third baseman prospect, Colin Moran, who the Reds could covet as a long term replacement for Frazier. With that being said, the Astros may want to have a backup plan when Frazier leaves after 2017, and Moran is some good insurance for that. Even if Moran is not involved the Astros have a very deep farm system that could make this trade happen.