The Third Baseman Market Revisited

Today let’s take another look at the third base options on the trade market.

  • Garrett Atkins, Rockies.  Atkins has displayed dramatic home/road splits since the beginning of ’07.  Plus, his defense is not well-regarded.  He’s under team control through 2010, and the Rockies’ unwillingness to do a long-term deal should tell you something.  They’d probably still ask for a lot though.
  • Casey Blake, Indians.  Blake seems likely to be traded.  His versatility is a plus, and he provides an .800 OPS.  He’s been linked to the Dodgers and Twins recently.
  • Adrian Beltre, Mariners.  It’s been suggested that the Mariners might keep Beltre just to avoid using an even more embarrassing offense for the rest of the season.  The Twins have inquired on Beltre, who is solid on both sides of the ball.  Beltre will earn a reasonable $12MM next year and has a limited no-trade clause.
  • Kevin Kouzmanoff, Padres.  The Padres’ public comments do not indicate a willingness to trade Kouz.  However, there was a rumor that the Padres could deal him to open up third base for Chase Headley.  Kouzmanoff hasn’t even reached arbitration yet.
  • Ty Wigginton, Astros.  Wigginton is hitting .282/.368/.470 in 231 plate appearances, and can play multiple positions.  He’s a bit like Blake, though I believe he’s under team control through ’09.  The Astros haven’t given any signals that they’re shopping him.
  • Ron Belliard, Nationals.  Belliard is signed for ’09 at $1.9MM.  He can help in a utility role.
  • Hank Blalock, Rangers.  Blalock briefly moved to first base, but never appeared there in the Majors.  He returns to the lineup today after a slew of injuries and setbacks.  He’s an interesting hitter, but hasn’t played much in recent years.  Blalock has a $6.2MM club option for ’09.
  • Jose Castillo, Giants.  Castillo posted an .854 OPS in May, but hasn’t hit otherwise.  He’s not high on anyone’s list.
  • Bill Hall, Brewers.  Hall is platooning with Russell Branyan at third base.  Originally, he wasn’t happy about it and preferred a trade.  There’s probably not much of a market for him, nor is Doug Melvin motivated to make a deal.
  • Andy LaRoche, Dodgers.  For some reason, LaRoche’s name always comes up as a possible trade chip.  The 24 year-old hit .277/.444/.420 in 38 Triple A games this year, and hasn’t had Major League success.  He started the season on the DL with a torn thumb ligament.
  • Melvin Mora, Orioles.  The O’s are stuck with him – he has a no-trade clause and a $9MM commitment next year.  He might be the worst starting third baseman in the game.
  • Mike Lamb, Twins.  Lamb is a DFA candidate; he lost his starting job with an awful first half.  Unfortunately he is under contract for ’09 at $3MM.

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