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View Full Version : Free Agency Preview: 3rd Basemen (Because Rolen costs way too much)



Kingspoint
11-18-2009, 04:48 AM
From Rotoworld:

Third Basemen


Chone Figgins (Angels) - Viewed by most as the No. 3 position player on the board behind Matt Holliday and Jason Bay, Figgins is in position to get a four-year deal worth at least $10 million per season. It helps that he's not limited to third base. He's probably no longer an option as a full-time second baseman, but he can handle center or left without much trouble. The Phillies are known to want him as a replacement for Pedro Feliz, the Mets appear to like him as a left fielder and the Cubs could use him in center field. It's possible that the Angels will keep him, but they do have Brandon Wood ready to take over at third base if the bidding gets out of control. Prediction: Cubs - four years, $48 million

Adrian Beltre (Mariners) - While Figgins is getting all of the attention, Beltre might well be the better bet going forward. He's the younger of the two by a year, and he's arguably baseball's best defensive third baseman. His 2009 season was a mess because of injuries, but he's still played in more games than Figgins over the last six seasons and he has the superior career OPS even though playing in Safeco has held him back (he's a career .287/.338/.488 hitter in road games). He'd be an outstanding choice for the Twins if they could come up with the money, and the Red Sox would likely pursue him if they could find a taker for Mike Lowell's contract. As is, his market is cloudy. Prediction: Phillies - three years, $27 million

Mark DeRosa (Cardinals) - DeRosa shouldn't be viewed as a starting second baseman at this stage of his career, but because of his increased power production the last couple of years, there will be several teams in on him. The Cardinals, Phillies, Mariners, Angels and Twins may have interest in him as a third baseman, while the Cubs, Braves and Mets could use him in the outfield. Perhaps that will be enough to land him another three-year deal. Prediction: Cardinals - three years, $18 million

Troy Glaus (Cardinals) - Shoulder surgery, followed by some back troubles, limited Glaus to 29 at-bats last season, but he still thinks he can play third base regularly. He was able to start 151 games and hit .270/.372/.483 in 2008, so it's too early to write him off. Still, it'd be best if he landed in the American League, giving him the DH spot to fall back on just in case. Time will tell whether the steroid taint causes him any difficulty. Seattle, Oakland, Minnesota and Baltimore make sense as possible destinations. Prediction: Athletics - one year, $4 million plus incentives

Joe Crede (Twins) - A third straight season with fewer than 100 games played guarantees that Crede is going to have to accept another incentive-laden deal. Despite all of his back problems, he remains exceptional defensively at third base when he's in the lineup. However, he didn't impress with his .225/.289/.414 line at the plate in 333 at-bats last season. If the Twins want to keep going cheap, they'll probably re-sign him. Prediction: Twins - one year, $2.5 million plus incentives

Pedro Feliz (Phillies) - At least you know what you'll get from Feliz; he's finished with OPSs between 694 and 717 each of the last five years. He's also played in 150 games four times in those five seasons (133 in the other). Feliz will turn 35 in April and he has lost a step defensively, but he's still well above average. He likely has one or two years left as an adequate starter. Prediction: Astros - one year, $2.5 million

Melvin Mora (Orioles) - Mora is just a year removed from a terrific .285/.342/.483 season, but he lost 150 points of OPS in 2009, and since he's turning 38 this winter, there's little reason to think he'll bounce back. That he remains above average defensively means he's still worthy of a roster spot, if not a starting job. He's another potentially cheap option for the Astros or Marlins. If he wants to stay close to home, then perhaps the Yankees, Phillies or Mets would take him on as a bench player. Prediction: Mets - one year, $1 million


Other free agents: Aaron Boone (Astros), Dallas McPherson (Giants), Mike Hessman (Tigers), Brian Barden (Cardinals), Joe Thurston (Cardinals), Joe Dillon (Rays), Brian Buscher (Twins), Rich Aurilia (Giants), Chris Woodward (Red Sox), Pablo Ozuna (Phillies)

There isn't a lot of help here. Boone and Aurilia are expected to head off to retirement, and McPherson and Hessman are more likely to receive opportunities in Japan than in the U.S. Barden deserves another look as a utilityman after the Cardinals gave up on him quickly last season. He's an excellent defender at third and adequate at short.


Trade candidates: Mike Lowell (Red Sox - NTC), Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays), Kevin Kouzmanoff (Padres), Garrett Atkins (Rockies), Ty Wigginton (Orioles), Mat Gamel (Brewers), Brandon Wood (Angels), Jeff Baker (Cubs), Brendan Harris (Twins), Andy Marte (Indians), Neil Walker (Pirates), Greg Dobbs (Phillies), Jeff Keppinger (Astros), Matt Brown (Angels), Adam Rosales (Reds)

With Lowell's hip slowing him down, the Red Sox would like to go in a different direction at third, either by shifting Kevin Youkilis to the position or by signing a free agent. Lowell, though, has a no-trade clause that he could choose to wield. His $12 million salary won't make him easy to move anyway, though the Red Sox could help out with that. The Blue Jays have seemingly wanted to be rid of Encarnacion since the day they picked him up for Scott Rolen. My feeling is that they should install him in right field and see what happens. He has very little trade value at the moment.

The Padres should play up Kouzmanoff's sterling fielding percentage and his numbers outside of Petco Park and move him now. His dreadful approach at the plate isn't getting any better, and they have Chase Headley capable of stepping in at third base. It'd be quite a waste for the Brewers to send Gamel back to Triple-A, but that's what they'll probably do with Casey McGehee expected to start at third base at the beginning of next season. Maybe someone will step up and offer a quality starting pitcher for him.


Non-tender candidates: Garrett Atkins (Rockies), Jose Bautista (Blue Jays), Brendan Harris (Twins), Jeff Keppinger (Astros), Eric Bruntlett (Phillies), Andy Marte (Indians), Freddy Sandoval (Angels), Brooks Conrad (Braves), Andy Tracy (Phillies), Andy Green (Mets)

The Rockies could have gotten something for Atkins at midseason. Now they'll probably have to cut him. It's hard to imagine someone acquiring him when he'll almost surely come cheaper in free agency than in arbitration. He'd be due about $7.5 million next season in arbitration. Bautista is a useful part-timer, but not at the $3 million or so that he'll make in arbitration. Harris will only make about $1.2 million, so he should be safe. The Twins might trade him, though. Keppinger will probably earn about $1 million. That's a fair number for an infielder who is pretty useful against lefties. The Astros, though, wouldn't have room for him if they went out and got a Feliz or a Mora.


2010-11 free agents: Aramis Ramirez (Cubs)*, Jhonny Peralta (Indians)*, Mike Lowell (Red Sox), Scott Rolen (Reds), Brandon Inge (Tigers), Garrett Atkins (Rockies), Eric Chavez (Athletics)*, Ty Wigginton (Orioles), Bill Hall (Mariners)*, Ramon Vazquez (Pirates), Geoff Blum (Astros)*

2011 options: Ramirez - $14.6 million player option, Peralta - $7 million ($250,000 buyout), Chavez - $12.5 million ($3 million buyout), Hall - $9.25 million ($500,000 buyout), Blum - $1.65 million mutual option,

2011-12 free agents: Aramis Ramirez (Cubs)*, Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays), Casey Blake (Dodgers)*, Mark Teahen (White Sox), Jose Bautista (Blue Jays), Greg Dobbs (Phillies)

2012 options: Ramirez - $16 million vesting mutual option ($2 million buyout), Blake - $6 million ($1.25 million buyout)

camisadelgolf
11-18-2009, 09:40 AM
I just want to stick with Rolen. Besides, rumor has it that Toronto is paying a huge chunk of his 2010 salary (the difference between his salary and Encarnacion's salary?), so I don't think he's nearly as expensive as many people claim.

texasdave
11-18-2009, 09:59 AM
The Blue Jays have seemingly wanted to be rid of Encarnacion since the day they picked him up for Scott Rolen. My feeling is that they should install him in right field and see what happens. He has very little trade value at the moment

Still waiting for that breakout season from Edwin any year now.

camisadelgolf
11-18-2009, 12:14 PM
EE has so little trade value right now that he has negative trade value. The Blue Jays didn't even want him, but the Reds required that he be part of the deal.

KiefMoon
11-18-2009, 05:09 PM
Are you serious??????? See my post in the SS thread. Anyone who doesn't know why Rolen and Janish are the best for for this club right REALLY has no clue how a team is built.

flash
11-20-2009, 08:49 AM
Three reasons not to dive into free agency

Adam Rosales should continue to improve. Currently is batting .370 in the Mexican league.

Juan Francisco. Everyone is always saying how great this guy is. Why not see if he is.

Carlos Mendez. hit .300 at Dayton this year. Currently over ,300 in Vennezuela.

Redsfan320
11-20-2009, 09:44 AM
Flash, I will address your three reasons:

1. Adam Rosales is done. He's just not big-league material (even if he hustles).

2. As you all know, I'm a huge Francisco fan, and believe he could make it big in the bigs, and will have a long, prosperous career (hopefully with the Reds).

3. Who the heck is Carlos Mendez?

320

camisadelgolf
11-20-2009, 01:22 PM
Carlos Mendez is a light-hitting 3B with great plate discipline. He's not much of a prospect, but he could play MLB some day.

Redsfan320
11-20-2009, 02:48 PM
Thanks, Morrisey. I looked up some stats on Mendez and he doesn't look bad. Still, single A is a little early to judge one way or another.

The Operator
11-20-2009, 04:02 PM
I don't think Rolen is going anywhere.

Like the move or not, they went out and got him for a reason and he can still pick it at 3rd when he's healthy. He may not have much power any more but he can still carry a decent average and his peripheral stats aren't bad.

He's not a bargain but I'm pretty sure he's staying put at least for this year.

mattfeet
11-20-2009, 04:08 PM
I don't think Rolen is going anywhere.

Like the move or not, they went out and got him for a reason and he can still pick it at 3rd when he's healthy. He may not have much power any more but he can still carry a decent average and his peripheral stats aren't bad.

He's not a bargain but I'm pretty sure he's staying put at least for this year.

Agreed. Im a fan of Rolen at 3rd, for now.

-Matt

reds77
11-20-2009, 07:29 PM
Figgins would have been nice over Rolen. Speed and hits at the top of the order.

flash
11-20-2009, 09:39 PM
I am not advocating replacing Rolen right now, but after 2010 I wouldn't resign him. The guy wears out his welcome and I would bet he would have issues somtime during next year. He had problems with Boone in Philedelphia, problems with LaRussa in St. Louis and then he had problems in Toronto. (of course, I am no fan of Dusty's)

Their is no reason to go out and take a risk on a expensive free agent this year. There is talent in the system. I also like it when I see minor leaguers hit .300.

The Operator
11-21-2009, 07:24 PM
Figgins would have been nice over Rolen. Speed and hits at the top of the order.

Figgins is a nice leadoff man with a .395 OBP this year and he has gotten on base pretty well throughout his career. It's a shame he plays 3B though because he really doesn't have much power at all to be playing third.