Trade Market: Third Basemen

Next up in our Trade Market series, third basemen.  Click here to see our take on the free agent market for the position. 

  • Dan Uggla, Marlins.  Uggla is a second baseman, so we discussed him here.  He last played third base for the '05 Tennessee Smokies, for what it's worth.  If a team acquired him and asked him to switch, he wouldn't have much of a choice.
  • Jorge Cantu, Marlins.  Cantu had an entry in our first basemen post, but he did log 355 innings at the hot corner this year and 1066.6 last year.  His defense at third base left much to be desired.
  • Kevin Kouzmanoff, Padres.  How valuable is Kouzmanoff?  The 28-year-hit .255/.302/.420 this year in 573 plate appearances after a similar offensive line last year.  He's solid defensively, according to UZR/150.  Kouzmanoff will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, so his salary should jump into the $3-4MM range.  That he's a competent third baseman gives him value, but teams may not be jumping to add his .300 OBP.
  • Mark Teahen, Royals.  Teahen, 28, hit .271/.325/.408 this year while playing third base, right field, and a little bit of first and second base.  His defense has not rated well lately.  Since Teahen is due a raise on this year's $3.575MM salary, he's a non-tender candidate.
  • Mat Gamel, Brewers.  Casey McGehee will be the Brewers' starting third baseman next year, and Gamel won't be moved to the outfield.  What's more, Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash admitted last month that the team might have to take some risks and consider trading top prospects.  Put it all together, and Gamel might be traded for pitching this winter.  The 24-year-old has yet to really crush Triple A pitching; he hit .278/.367/.473 in 320 plate appearances this year.  He struggled defensively at third base in the minors.
  • Neil Walker, Pirates.  Walker is currently playing winter ball; he hopes to steal Andy LaRoche's at-bats at third base in 2010 before Pedro Alvarez arrives.  Walker complained in August that he wasn't one of Neal Huntington's guys, though he was called up weeks later.  He hit .264/.311/.480 in his second full season at Triple A.
  • Brandon Wood, Angels.  Wood was named in our shortstops post, but he's spent time at third base in his career.
  • Garrett Atkins, Rockies.  Atkins is highly likely to be non-tendered after earning $7.05MM this year.  If there's a team willing to give the Rockies a useful player and pay Atkins a similar amount in 2010, he will be traded.  Count on the non-tender.
  • Ramon Vazquez, Pirates.  Vazquez didn't play much third base this year, but did get 1073.3 innings there in 2007-08 for the Rangers.  He's set to earn $2MM next year and is coming off a .230/.335/.279 performance.
  • Jose Bautista, Blue Jays.  Bautista, 29, hit .235/.349/.408 in 404 plate appearances this year while playing third base, left field, right field, and even a few games in center.  He continued to crush lefties and defend well.  He earned $2.4MM this year and it wouldn't be a mistake to tender him a contract.  Maybe the Jays will shop Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion, or maybe they'll stand pat since Alex Rios won't be with the club in 2010.
  • Josh Fields, White Sox.  Fields, 27 in December, hit .222/.301/.347 in 268 plate appearances this year.  He hoped for a trade deadline deal, but it didn't happen.

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