25 March 2011
EDIT: The deal with Frandsen fell through, and he has signed with the Phillies on Monday, March 28.
The Diamondbacks have signed infielder Kevin Frandsen to a minor league contract and assigned him to AAA Reno. Frandsen was released by the Padres on Friday, and apparently had several teams interested in his services. By signing with the Diamondbacks, Frandsen can fill an important role by adding middle infield depth. At this point, the Diamondbacks have Stephen Drew as the starter, but no real back-up for him, since utility players Ryan Roberts and Willie Bloomquist aren't really capable of playing SS everyday. Tony Abreu has been the primary backup SS in Spring Training, but Abreu is out of options and may be lost on waivers if he does not make the Opening Day roster. The team's depth at SS in the upper minor league levels is so weak that the team has been starting Chris Owings and Zach Walters at SS over the last few games, two players who were in Low-A ball last year, while Drew and Abreu battle day-to-day injuries.
Frandsen has never displayed much power, but has shown solid on-base skills, compiling a career .312/.376/.444 line in the Minors. At the Major League level, Frandsen had a decent season in 2007, going .269/.331/.379 in 264 ABs with the Giants. Since then, he hasn't spent much time in the Majors, with only 211 ABs over the last three years. His career numbers at the Major League Level are .243/.302/.335 with 36BB and 52K. He has played all over the diamond, with 95 games at 2B, 52 games at 3B, 32 games at SS, 14 games in the Outfield, and 4 Games at 1B. Defensively, his best position is probably 2B, although he is not known as a great defensive player. Still, he is probably better at SS than Bloomquist and Roberts, and might be the team's best option at SS if Drew is injured and Abreu is lost on waivers.