Veteran infielder Todd Frazier opts out of deal with Pirates

Texas Rangers' Todd Frazier flies out to center as Oakland Athletics catcher Jonah Heim looks on in the fifth inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Todd Frazier won’t be a Pittsburgh Pirate after all.

The two-time All-Star infielder has opted out of his contract, making him a free agent. The 35-year-old signed a minor-league deal in February that included a clause allowing him to opt out by March 25.

Frazier hit .250 with three home runs in 12 spring training games for the Pirates but appeared to be the odd man out with the season opener looming next week. Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton called Frazier “a good player” but said finding a spot for him on the bench might have been difficult if the Pirates carry 14 pitchers into the regular season.

“If we do take 14 pitchers, then versatility is going to be really important and I think that kind of led to our decision,” Shelton said.

Frazier signed with the expectation that he could platoon with Colin Moran at first base and even fill in at third — where he was an All-Star for Cincinnati in 2014 and 2015 — if needed. Yet Wilmer Difo and Phil Evans offer more position flexibility for Pittsburgh.

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