Who's On Third?

The Phillies declined Pedro Feliz's option, questioning who will be the third baseman in 2010. There are plenty of options available via free agency. The big names are Adrian Beltre, Chone Figgins, Mark DeRosa, Joe Crede, Troy Glaus, and Melvin Mora. Players such as Placido Polanco and Miguel Tejada could convert positions. In addition, there are also trade talks about Garrett Atkins. So, who's on third for 2010?

There is a chance Feliz could return, but the Phillies should go after Adrian Beltre first. On paper, Figgins may be the best option, but he is going to cost the most. Figgins is projected to get a contract around $40-60 million for 3-5 years.

Figgins batted .246 against lefties this year, and .323 against righties. The Phillies have enough lefties in the lineup, so they need somebody to hit lefties. Beltre's a righty who hit .298 against lefties in 2009.

Defensively, Beltre is the better option. Beltre had a 21 UZR/150 in 2009. Figgins is a solid defender, but Beltre is very similar to Pedro Feliz defensively.

Beltre can also hit for more power. He isn't going to hit 48 homers like he did in 2004, but he can still hit homer. Switching to a hitter's park would help. It would help Figgins too, but he's more of a lead-off hitter. The Phillies already have Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino, two lead-off type hitters. Figgins gets on base more, but I don't think Manuel would take Rollins out of the lead-off spot, even with Figgins.

Polanco's name is also being thrown around. Polanco was the best defensive second baseman in 2009, but he said he would switch positions for a contending team, something he did not do when he was in Philadelphia before.

The University of Penn graduate, Mark DeRosa, is also being mentioned. DeRosa is a career .275 hitter, but the Phillies should go after Belre, Figgins, or Polanco before DeRosa.

Mora, Tejada, Crede and Glaus should not be in the conversation right now. If the Phillies run out of options, then yes, but it might be better to bring Feliz back.


Jay Ballz said...

As appealing as this "Who's on 3rd?" question is, I am a bit more interested in the relief pitching corp. Third base will be some name we've all been talking about for weeks or months by the time it gets done. Relievers...there's just more holes, more possibilities and more intrigue.

Anonymous said...

You wont find a better 3rd baseman than PF, especially at 5.5 million.

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