The Marlins traded for Carlos Lee this afternoon and more first basemen could be dealt within the next four weeks. The Dodgers, who attempted to acquire Lee from Houston, are one team that figures to explore the first base market. Here are some of the options they could consider:
- Ty Wigginton, Phillies - Though Wigginton isn't exactly your prototypical slugging first baseman, he can play the position and hit lefties. Wigginton's availability presumably depends on the health of teammates such as Ryan Howard as much as anything. He earns $4MM this year ($2MM from both the Rockies and Phillies) and his contract includes a club option for the same $4MM salary in 2013.
- Bryan LaHair, Cubs - LaHair has trouble hitting left-handers and he's mired in a six-week slump. Yet he has power and will remain under team control for years to come. Anthony Rizzo's promotion bumped LaHair to the outfield, but he has spent most of his short MLB career at first base.
- Justin Morneau, Twins - Morneau's production has been passable, but unimpressive: ten homers and a .238/.307/.434 batting line. Add his contract -- $14MM per season through 2013 -- and concussion issues to the mix, and you have a trade candidate who will scare away some potential suitors.
- Adam Lind, Blue Jays - Though Lind has hit well since returning from the minor leagues, his place in the Blue Jays organization seems far from secure. The team exposed him to waivers earlier this season then removed him from the 40-man roster, strong indications that he'd be available in the right deal. Edwin Encarnacion could be available if the Blue Jays fall far out of contention in July.
- Corey Hart, Brewers - At the moment it doesn’t appear that the Brewers will listen on Hart. Perhaps the left-handed hitting Travis Ishikawa will draw trade interest.
- Mark Kotsay, Padres - Kotsay hasn't played much first base since 2010, but he has a .790 OPS and a salary of just $1.25MM.
- Jason Giambi, Rockies - Giambi's more of a pinch hitter and designated hitter than he is a first baseman at this point. He's earning just $1MM this year so, like Kotsay, he's an affordable option.
The Cardinals could be positioned to make a buyer-buyer deal once Lance Berkman returns from the disabled list. Alternatively, the Cardinals could keep Matt Carpenter, Matt Adams and Allen Craig to preserve their offensive depth for 2012 and beyond.
MLBTR started previewing the trade market yesterday with a look at potentially available catchers.