Trade Market For Third Basemen

On Wednesday we looked at the free agent market for third basemen, noting that it's Adrian Beltre and not much else.  The Orioles, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Indians, Tigers, Angels, Athletics, Mariners, Marlins, Cardinals, and Giants can't all sign him, so let's analyze the trade market at the hot corner.

Best Available Regular

There is sentiment that new Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers could shop Mark Reynolds in hopes of changing the team's offensive approach.  Reynolds led MLB in strikeouts in each of the past three seasons, and those totals hold the top three spots as single-season records.  He hit 44 home runs and slugged .543 in '09, but slipped to 32 and .433 this year.  Former GM Josh Byrnes locked Reynolds up in March; he's owed $5MM in 2011, $7.5MM in '12, and has an $11MM club option for '13.  Reynolds being under contract doesn't help his market value, but at half the price of Beltre he will draw suitors despite his difficulty making contact.

Sell High Opportunity

Wilson Betemit isn't known to be available, but Royals GM Dayton Moore would do well to field offers.  The soon-to-be 29-year-old has hit a little in the past, but nothing like this year's .297/.378/.511 line in 315 plate appearances.  The Royals are his fifth organization; he'll be arbitration eligible for 2011 before hitting free agency after the season.  Betemit is expendable and coming off the best year of his career at a time when decent-hitting third basemen are hard to come by.

Three Under Contract

Chone Figgins didn't play third base for the Mariners this year, but he's played it well in the past.  He slipped to .259/.340/.306 this year and has $26MM left on his contract for 2011-13.  A $9MM salary for 2014 could vest with 600 plate appearances in '13.  A fresh start makes sense for Figgins, who still qualifies as a useful leadoff man.  Another burdensome contract will have to be involved.

Mark Teahen, inexplicably locked up through 2012, hit .258/.327/.382 in 262 plate appearances in his White Sox debut.  He fractured a finger on May 30th and returned to the team on August 13th.  The Sox could change course and try Brent Morel or Dayan Viciedo as their third baseman next year, perhaps swapping Teahen for another bad contract.

The Twins' Brendan Harris is under contract at $1.75MM for 2011.  He was outrighted in June, so he's presumably available.

Former Top Prospects

Brandon Wood's stock is low – he hit .146/.174/.208 in 243 big league plate appearances for the Angels this year and turns 26 in March.  He's shown big power at Triple A and is capable of playing shortstop, so a few clubs would be interested in seeing if a change of scenery helps.

Mat Gamel, 25, had a solid year in the minors but saw little big league time with the Brewers.  He dealt with a slight tear in his right lat muscle in the beginning of the season but eventually hit well enough to earn a September call-up.  He had toe surgery at the end of the month, however.  Casey McGehee is locked in at third base for the Brewers.  They could use Gamel elsewhere or shop him for starting pitching this offseason.

Non-Tender Candidates

As we mentioned before, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Lopez, Andy Marte, Andy LaRoche, and Kevin Frandsen could be trade bait as non-tender candidates.  There may be a few clubs willing to tender Kouzmanoff a contract if the Athletics aren't, so a trade is possible for him if the A's find a third base alternative.  Regarding the others, teams might wait until the December 2nd non-tender deadline passes.


The trade market for third basemen offers worthwhile gambles.  Will Reynolds and Figgins bounce back and will Betemit regress?  Can Wood and Gamel hold down everyday jobs?  Can Kouzmanoff and Teahen hit enough to justify salaries north of $4MM?

Full Story | 69 Comments | Categories: Trade Market

69 Responses to Trade Market For Third Basemen Leave a Reply

  1. Beaned1 5 years ago

    forgot to mention Aramis Ramirez as trade bait

    • I don’t really consider him trade bait…I guess the Cubs could try to save a little money and do something there.

  2. blazemoney 5 years ago

    Wood would be interesting on the Yankees to backup Arod and Jeter…Would the cost be prohibitive?

    • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

      I doubt he’d sign on to be a backup. I say the Angels for him.

    • Why on earth would any team want Brandon Wood???

      • TeamCropDusters 5 years ago

        Careful at one point Nelson Cruz was Brandon Wood. Wood may be a late bloomer.

  3. GasLampGuru 5 years ago

    Someone take Chase Headley…please…

    • TeamCropDusters 5 years ago

      A switch hitting above average defensive 3B…. I’m sure a lot of teams would love Headley. I would.

      He could easily turn out to be a .30025 guy.

      • GasLampGuru 5 years ago

        I’ll go on record saying this – if you’ve seen Chase play regularly you know he’ll NEVER hit .300 with 25 HR.  He has too many holes in his swing which leads to excessive strike outs for a guy who only hits 12 HR.  If we must put up with high K totals, it may as well come with 30+ HR (Mark Reynolds).  I’ve had enough of waiting for Chase to make adjustments.

  4. I’d bet a guy like Ian Stewart could be available if the rox get fed up with him. In his defense they bounch their rookies in and out of the lineup at an alarming pace. Plus rox have herrera, ey, nelson and maybe mora

  5. I second the notion that Aramis Ramirez is available to anyone who wants him.

    • Based on what?

      • Based on his salary, the Cubs’ desire to trim the payroll, the Cubs’ probably have little interest in paying Aramis with an extension. I guess I’m just very bearish on the Cubs ~ mostly as a disappointed fan.

      • touchmymonkey 5 years ago

        Based on article you wrote awhile back saying redsox were interested in him? If one team is interested maybe others might be? Cubs may not be shopping him but if Sox are interested I would imagine it is not impossible to see them take offers and see what they can work out. Not like they are going to be favorites next year with him and money saved can be used elsewhere.

  6. myname_989 5 years ago

    Wow. This is a really weak market. Period. I guess if I had to take any of them, I’d take Kevin Kouzmanoff. Good defense, okay power… I just have the feeling that in anything but a contract year with the Red Sox, Adrian Beltre is a bust.

    • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

      Never will a Braves fan agree with a Phillies fan more…this winter’s free agent market sucks big time. Besides a fine first baseman crop everyone else is either a one-year deal in the low seven figures or has some form of option.

  7. stl_cards16 5 years ago

    This is not a good time for your teams biggest weaknesses to be 3B, 2B, and SS. Unforunately, there just aren’t alot of options out there to improve these areas.

  8. ze3 5 years ago

    Could David Wright be considered a trade candidate? A bunch of teams would like to have him in the lineup and the new management might field offers for him.

  9. yazpik 5 years ago

    Chone Figgins for Reynolds actually make sense

    • bbxxj 5 years ago

      I’m not sure. Figgins makes a good deal more than Reynolds over more years.

      • Ah good point Figgy belongs on this list. I missed him given the position change but he should be here.

        • Threat_Level_RedSox 5 years ago

          Dice-K for Figgins if Beltre leaves boston? Mariners need a type 3-4 starter, the money’s close 2yrs/20 to 3yrs/26. Given Figgins speed, obp, and versitility its easy to see him at least playeing the same role he did for the Angels in Boston.

          • Slopeboy 5 years ago

            As a Yankees fan I dread seeing Figgins in a RS uniform terrorizing the Yankees on the basepaths 18 times a year.

          • redsoxbob 5 years ago

            I hadn’t seen this proposed before, but it makes a LOT of sense. Figgins has been terrible in Seattle and appears overpaid by about $3MM/year for the next 3 years ($9MM in “waste”), and Dice-K, who hasn’t been quite as bad as those who like to trash him would have you believe, is a good #4 starter, probably overpaid by about that same amount. Boston needs a 3B, Seattle needs another decent starter. Theo?

          • slr5607 5 years ago

            Actually think this is a great deal. I just don’t know if it would happen. The Red Sox are always preaching about the need for so many SP and the Mariners would really have to man up and admit their mistake on Figgins just 1 year after they signed him.

      • NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

        Yeah but the D-backs could use more speed and the mariners could use more power.

        • bbxxj 5 years ago

          I think if there is any team who could use an OBP/speed leadoff man and could also use a good glove at 3B its the Blue Jays. They could either trade Encarnacion or alternate him and Lind at 1B/DH and not bring back Overbay.

          I think its pretty clear that the Jays don’t need another power bat at 3B but could really use a someone who can be the guy to score from the power of the big guys.

          • yazpik 5 years ago

            Figgy, Aardsma and a prospect for Zach Stewart and Arencibia

          • pastlives 5 years ago

            dont count on it

          • $1529282 5 years ago

            “Hey Alex, it’s Jack Z. Say… you interested in our underperforming and overpaid 2B/3B, our control-challenged closer, and a prospect? Looking to mix things up — how’s your top 2 prospects in exchange sound? Hello? Alex? I’m sorry Alex I can’t make out your words through all of that laughter. Alex? Hello? *CLICK*”

          • yazpik 5 years ago

            “Hey Ruben I´m interested in a pitcher in exchange for three mediocre prospects…., Ok, how about Cliff Lee… OK is Fair, thanks Ruben…”

            Aumont for Smoak
            Gilles for Beavan
            Ramirez for Lawson and Lueke,

            With Jack all is possible

          • $1529282 5 years ago

            That’s far more attributable to Ruben Amaro’s incompetence than Jack Z’s prowess. No offense to Jack Z, but there’s no chance in hell he gets Anthopolous to do anything but laugh at him with that offer.

          • TeamCropDusters 5 years ago

            You are assuming that there is more to being a GM than overpaying players in years and $$$.

            Amaro is a Greek god when it comes to that.

    • Shikikazu 5 years ago

      Chone Figgins for Reynolds sounds like an aweful deal for the mariners unless Reynolds somehow magically hits for better average and similar power at Safeco. Reynolds is a right handed power hitter that hits .240-.250(.214) and he plays in Chase Field half the time if he goes to Safeco and we assume his power drops and avg stays the same and Figgins improves because of the league and Chase Field/change of scenery while with Reynolds its more unlikely.

  10. bbxxj 5 years ago

    The Royals would do well to trade Betimet now. His good batting line was BABIP inflated (but would still be decent regardless) and his defense is well below average at 3B, 2B and 1B so he won’t comand a huge return but he doesn’t have a future in KC with Moustakas and Hosmer on their way and Getz, while not the same hitter as Betimet, would really help on defense playing 3B every day. Betimet and Yuni on the left side in 2010 was one of the main reasons the Royals had the worst defense in the bigs and their already below average pitching staff looked even worse.

    • I agree with you. Could Alex Gordon be put on this list too? The Royals have switched him to the OF but the kid is screaming for a change-of-scenery trade. I was surprised by Betemit and like Brett Myers in HOU, I view him as an obvious regress candidate.

      As an aside, I want Getz playing second base and Mike Aviles run out of town. Aviles has no business playing the field. There are Little Leaguers across the country with better defensive skills that that guy.

      • bbxxj 5 years ago

        Admittedly I don’t watch alot of Mike Aviles on the field, but from most scouting reports and his UZR numbers he is an above average overall middle infield defender who makes a few too many errors.

        Yuniesky Betancourt however has been consistantly awful at SS without even the offensive value that Aviles brings. Clint Barmes would be an instant upgrade defensively and sadly would be an upgrade offensively just because he doesn’t suck that bad.

      • bbxxj 5 years ago

        Admittedly I don’t watch alot of Mike Aviles on the field, but from most scouting reports and his UZR numbers he is an above average overall middle infield defender who makes a few too many errors.

        Yuniesky Betancourt however has been consistantly awful at SS without even the offensive value that Aviles brings. Clint Barmes would be an instant upgrade defensively and sadly would be an upgrade offensively just because he doesn’t suck that bad.

        • I may be an old-school baseball stathead because I don’t pay any attention to those new-fangled defensive stats. In my opinion, eyes are the best judge–not numbers. Betancourt wasn’t spectacular on the field, and given his .280 OBP, he really needs to go, but Aviles can’t throw the ball to first base from second, let alone shortstop. He really is a DH.

          Given the Royals recent history with awful shortstops, guys like Barmes and Theriot would be a welcome sight.

          Since you’re a Braves fan, let me know which washed-up Brave prospect will eventually make his way to KC. I expect Francouer to patrol RF for the Royals next year. Chuck James and Ryan langerhans still haven’t made their way to KC yet, but give Moore some time. Maybe he’ll look into David Nied’s whereabouts too! And if things get too shaky in KC’s horrible outfield, Brad Komminsk may be a welcome site come All-Star Break.

      • slr5607 5 years ago

        I really like Alex Gordon and I think a change of scenery would benefit him a lot. Its got to be hard for a guy like that to go out and play on an everyday basis. At least from where I am, it seems like he was the saviour of the franchise and when he was not able to carry the entire franchise out of their funk alone, he got some blame, then never really grew to his potential. I still think he can be a very good ball player. I wouldn’t mind having him in San Francisco…

  11. The_Porcupine 5 years ago

    Figgins might be a trade option for teams looking for leadoff help. I like him in Toronto, Detroit, or San Fran. The Mariners would have to eat some salary.

    I like Reynolds as a gamble. He’s not great with the glove, but he’s not vastly overpaid either. Could see the A’s or the O’s going for him. I’d say he’d fit well with San Fran. but I doubt they’d trade in the division.

    Wood is worth a flyer, given his previous lofty prospect status. Florida? O’s?
    Gamels is also worth a flyer, but he wasn’t as big a prospect and I believe his defense is really bad.

    I think Kouz., Lopez, and Encarnacion have their places on the major league level. I think they’ve been miscast in their team’s lineup which has highlighted their deficiencies. I’d love to Kouz. outside of a big ballpark. He’s good defensively and can hit between 13-18 hr’s and drive in 80rbi’s depending on the lineup. He’d be a nice compliment to Stl., Minn. Encarnacion be an alright fit with Florida or Seattle maybe (no true contender will want his inconsistency and defense). And Lopez needs to go back to 2b even if his defense was bad. He could be servicable in Cleveland as they break youngsters in at 3b and 2b.

    • sadp 5 years ago

      The Jays are looking for younger players. Figgins might work as a short term stopgap option, but he’d be too expensive.

      • $1529282 5 years ago

        Tough to call three years a stopgap too. Amazing how bad Figgins’ contract looks just one year after signing it. He’s the type of player who could erase all of that with one strong season though… still, at about $9MM per over the next three seasons (possibly four, depending on the option), he doesn’t really qualify as a stopgap.

    • I always thought Wood’s lofty prospect status was unwarranted. A “prospcet” with excessive strikeout numbers in the low minors will get exploited big time in the Majors–which is what happened to Brandon. His struggles should have been obvious to scouts.

  12. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    It’s times like these that I’m thankful that the Braves’ left-infield depth is plenty. It doesn’t help though that the outfield market is about the same if not worse than the flea-market that is the left-infield market this year and that’s our biggest need so it balances out i guess

  13. therambler 5 years ago

    What about Figgins in a deal to the Mets? The only real stop-gap the Mets have while the wait(and hope) for Reece Havens is Ruben Tejada. Tejada is great with the glove but showed this year that his offensive skills are lacking.
    Couldn’t the Mets and Mariners work something out…? Perhaps surounding Figgins for Castillo + something? Castillo is cheaper and his contract expires at the end of the 2011. Perhaps a Met OF farmhand or pitching prospect?

    • I thought Wilmer Flores was your SS? I hear Met fans saying he’s a special player, and he’s really fast, and that he’s probably the next Jose Reyes or something.

      • therambler 5 years ago

        Wilmer Flores could be special hitter but probably not at SS or 2B… most of the talent evaluators (like Keith Law) think that he is destined to be a 1B/LF/DH type.

      • MetsEventually 5 years ago

        He’ll end up as an outfielder.

  14. Steve Kinsella 5 years ago

    I would think the best “high-ceiling” guy that may be available would be Alex Gordon, who is not happy playing leftfield in KC and didn’t appreciate being kept down in Omaha as long as he was. We often hear about change of scenery type guys, and Gordon certainly seems to fit the bill.

    • Beaned1 5 years ago

      send Gordon to the O’s for Reimold. Heck send any of those Royals 3B guys for Reimold or Pie. Royals have too many Thirdbasemen and O’s have too many Outfielders.

      • Royals 3B, which includes Moustakas. If you wish to have Moustakas that is an absolutely not for any player

        • As a Royals fan, I’ll take Markakis for Moustakas. Sounds like we’re swapping philosophers from ancient Rome, huh?

          • 1146miles 5 years ago

            Ah, those fabled Roman thinkers from Greece.

    • Beaned1 5 years ago

      another player that might just need a change of scenery is Reimold.

  15. slider32 5 years ago

    Let’s face it, the Mets have some bad contracts, Castillo, Beltran, Perez, and Maine. Bite the bullet and keep them for one more year, and hope good years from one or two of them becuase you won’t get anything for them except Beltran.

  16. slider32 5 years ago

    Like I said, they will all cost the Mets this year with very little return. Everyone has been trying to get rid of Castillo for three years. Beltran should be traded before he gets injured again. I remember when Maine and Perez won 15 games not too long ago, what a snake bitten team, the collapse of a few years ago, a new stadium thats too big, the Phillies on the rise, they need an overhaul. Good luck to the new GM.

    • The Phillies are probably gonna regress within the next couple of years. Everybody in that lineup except for Dominic Brown is 30 or more. That core of Utley, Howard, and Rollins are all getting older, and I think we’re really starting to see Jimmy on his downside of his career, it starts with the injuries, always starts with the injuries.

  17. Redbirds16 5 years ago

    What kind of talent would the Cards have to throw in to even out a Lohse-Figgins swap? Lohse is owed ~$24 over 2 and Figgins ~$26 over 3 (plus the option). So the cash is similar, although I don’t know if there’s really a benefit to spreading it out over an extra year or not…

    Would the Mariners even be interested? Pitching isn’t exactly their need, but then again, you can never have too much pitching. Freese has a good glove and decent bat and Hamilton has some pop.

    Freese + Lohse for Figgins + mediocre pitching prospect/decent cash?
    Mark Hamilton + Lohse for Figgins + little cash?

    Cards use the cash to pick up another Duncan rehab starter.

    • As a M’s fan, I’d do Freese + Lohse for Figgins + cash. Get a decent young 3B and a guy that could rebound in a very strong pitching park. We need to get rid of Figgins, you can’t build your lineup on 2 expensive lead off hitters.

    • Lanidrac 5 years ago

      The Cards only need a safety net at third for injury-prone Freese, someone who can also platoon in the middle infield, not a complete replacement. Besides, now that he’s healthy and after his last few starts this seson, Lohse is more likely to bounce back than Figgins.

    • Lanidrac 5 years ago

      The Cards only need a safety net at third for injury-prone Freese, someone who can also platoon in the middle infield, not a complete replacement. Besides, now that he’s healthy and after his last few starts this seson, Lohse is more likely to bounce back than Figgins.

  18. therambler 5 years ago

    I would be all for that. I do think the Mets would have to take on all of Chone’s salary and give up a prospect or two but I don’t think they would have to be all that impressive.
    For the Mets they are patiently waiting for the development of Reece Havens… but the man is constantly injured… it may be time to look at other options.
    Either way, I think Figgins represents an opportunity for the Mets to upgrade their offense without losing too much value.
    I also think the Mets offer the M’s a way to get out from under Figgins’s contract.

  19. Slopeboy 5 years ago

    Beltran had to shut it down the last two weeks because the knee started to act up.
    That makes moving him more difficult. He’s going to have to play into the season before anyone takes him and his salary.

  20. Beaned1 5 years ago

    Bell bites. Not ready yet – maybe in a year or 2. He did well in AAA but stunk it up in the majors at the plate. Gordon’s glove is better than Bell’s, even though he hasn’t been a very good hitter yet, either. Maybe Bell turns it around this spring…but probably not.

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