Third Base Options For The Athletics

Unfortunately, Athletics third baseman Scott Sizemore is out for the 2012 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.  Assistant GM David Forst addressed reporters today, explaining that Josh Donaldson will get the first look as his potential replacement.  The team will look both internally and externally for other options, though Forst noted that spring training is generally not a time for trading.

Donaldson, 26, is a catcher by trade, but he's played the infield corners and a touch of outfield in the minors.  According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, "The A's liked the work Donaldson did at third base the final month of last season at Triple-A Sacramento and at winter ball in the Dominican Republic, and they believe he's improved enough defensively to handle the position at the big-league level. In addition, some think Donaldson will hit better when he's not catching."  The A's have a few other internal candidates, but a little outside help is worth considering.

Slusser wrote Sunday the A's would be likely to have interest in Alberto Callaspo of the division-rival Angels, if they could get him without parting with a significant prospect.  Our free agent tracker shows a few minor league deal options, such as Miguel Tejada and Wes Helms.  Where could the A's look if they are to get more aggressive on the trade market this summer?

Baltimore's Mark Reynolds could become available, though he's not known for his defense and has limited no-trade protection.  Chone Figgins is another midseason name to consider, but only if he gets off to a strong start and the Mariners assume most of the money remaining on his contract.  Same goes for Brandon Inge of the Tigers.  I could see the Rockies moving Casey Blake, should Nolan Arenado force the issue in a few months.  Projected as a short-side platoon partner at the infield corners for the Pirates, Casey McGehee might prefer a chance to play regularly again.

The A's are in a weird spot, as Sizemore seemed something of a stopgap himself.  Most likely if they bring in anyone this spring, it'll be a free agent on a minor league deal, or a trade for someone who signed one, such as Blake, Brooks Conrad, Jose Lopez, Mark Teahen, or Brandon Wood.  In that case, guys like Donaldson and Stephen Parker might as well get looks.