Next up in our look at the free agent market, the hot corner.
- For OBP, Chone Figgins is your man (.401). After him it drops to Adam Kennedy (.342). Bounceback possibilities based on '08 OBPs: Jerry Hairston Jr. (.384), Mark DeRosa (.376), and Troy Glaus (.372).
- Juan Uribe (.498 SLG) surprisingly leads free agent third basemen in slugging this year. DeRosa (.439) also has pop. Last year there was Hairston (.487), Glaus (.483), Melvin Mora (.483, club option), DeRosa (.481), Joe Crede (.460), and Adrian Beltre (.457).
- Looking for defensive prowess? UZR/150 points to traditionally well-regarded names: Crede, Figgins, and Beltre. John Dewan of The Fielding Bible ranked Beltre as the game's best defensive third baseman heading into the season. He ranked Pedro Feliz (club option) second and Crede third.
- Beltre and Crede are represented by Scott Boras. Both players showed only flashes of solid offense this year while dealing with injuries. At 31 next year Beltre is on the younger side of the group. He'd make an intriguing value buy for an NL club. Uribe will also be 31 next year. Bobby Crosby turns 30 in January.
- Glaus is a comeback candidate, though he may not be able to play third base regularly given this year's shoulder injury.
- Figgins contributes on both sides of the ball and is clearly the top free agent third baseman. Beltre and Uribe figure to generate attention as well. Figgins and Glaus currently profile as Type A free agents, while Mora, Beltre, DeRosa, and Feliz project as Bs.
- Mora's $8MM club option should be declined by the Orioles, while the Phillies may exercise Feliz's $5MM option.
- Miguel Tejada played third base in the World Baseball Classic this year, and has expressed a willingness to play there to remain with the Astros. He'll be 36 in May, and has a .301/.332/.434 line in 600 plate appearances.
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