The Tigers, Angels, Cubs, Marlins and Rockies will likely pursue starting third basemen this offseason and clubs like the Yankees and Braves could be in the market for bench help at the hot corner. Here's a preview of the offseason third base market.
Starting Third Basemen Available In Free Agency
Aramis Ramirez stands out as the top free agent third baseman available. He won't cost a draft pick and, as it turns out, neither will any of the offseason's other free agent third basemen. Wilson Betemit, who posted a .795 OPS in 2011, is another everyday option.
Eric Chavez, John McDonald, Craig Counsell, Greg Dobbs, Jerry Hairston Jr., Omar Vizquel and Aaron Miles warrant consideration from teams looking for backups. Casey Blake and Mark DeRosa struggled to stay on the field, but both have succeeded in everyday roles before. Kevin Kouzmanoff and Andy LaRoche, two former A's third basemen, should receive interest, if not Major League deals.
Thinking Outside The Box
Perhaps former shortstops like Orlando Cabrera, Jamey Carroll could play third regularly. There's also Yonder Alonso, who could be available in trades. If you really want to dream, imagine free agent Albert Pujols at third. He played seven games at the hot corner this offseason, but realistically he's a first baseman.
Other Trade Candidates
David Wright and Kevin Youkilis are the biggest names we might see on the trade market. Casey McGehee, Alberto Callaspo and Ty Wigginton could also conceivably be traded. Padres GM Josh Byrnes may entertain offers for Chase Headley and the Orioles' new GM could move Mark Reynolds or Chris Davis. Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker of the Cubs may also be available. Chone Figgins could likely be had given the Mariners' internal options at third.