When Juan Uribe re-upped with the Dodgers yesterday, the Marlins were left looking at a thin third base supply that lacks any obvious starter-level options. But that does not mean that Miami will not make an addition, reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
Eric Chavez could be an option, as he has posted two straight years with a better-than .800 OPS. But Chavez, who just turned 36, has done virtually all of his damage against right-handed pitching. He also has drawn wide interest, and may not end up being terribly cheap. Of the remaining free agents, says Frisaro, the Fish are most interested in bringing back Casey McGehee from Japan or giving Wilson Betemit a chance to reestablish his health and his bat. But, says Frisaro, the club may be more inclined to bring one of those two in on a minor league deal.
As I noted in presenting the club's offseason outlook, a stopgap could well make sense. That is especially so if Miami agrees with MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo that prospect Colin Moran could be ready for the bigs by the end of the summer.
Alternatively, as I explained in that piece, the club could slide Derek Dietrich to the hot corner. Dietrich has power upside and a big arm, and is just 24. But he is now without a position after the signing of Rafael Furcal. Frisaro does note that Dietrich could still be under consideration at third. The easiest (and, perhaps, best) option at this point might be to platoon his left-handed stick with a right-handed swinging veteran.
Of course, I wrote that piece before Miami went out and spent a decent chunk of cash to add veteran options around the infield. With an exciting young outfield and pitching staff already in place, it may be tempting to round out the offseason with a more impactful addition.
Indeed, according to Frisaro's report, there is at least some consideration being given to pursuing a third baseman via trade. Though the club would not part with any of its young pitching unless it returns "a big league prospect under club control," Frisaro suggests Will Middlebrooks of the Red Sox and Mike Olt of the Cubs as hypothetical targets.
From my perspective, with Moran in the wings and Dietrich on hand, the club would have to achieve significant value in a trade to make that route the most attractive proposition. Simply adding a right-handed bat to complement the team's existing youngsters may be the most efficient and highest-upside play at the present.