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Premature Extrapolation: 3B, 2008

I thought I was too old for this problem...

Evening/morning everyone. I thought about doing an article...similar to the topic bosoxmt covered. Different player though. If you can guess who I'm thinking probably can. Anyway, I scrapped that and will bring it up another day.

At any rate, in light of this news (admittedly a day or two old), I thought it would be...prudent to look into what our corner IF situation would be like after 2007. As of now, it will obviously be like this in 2007. I have to say, it's hard to argue with what Ian Browne is saying in that piece. power...good defense. We get power in other ways, so I'm not too concerned. In addition, I feel Youkilis will eventually be a 15-20 HR guy (...MAYBE 25). He's a good one to build around at the corners.

And I must admit, Mike Lowell has almost made me forget about another Red Sox third baseman who brought similar attributes to the table. (Take it easy, Randy, I said almost.) Lowell is going to be a FA after 2007, and I was thinking the other day about whether it might not be prudent to sign him to a two-year extension. You could do a lot worse for a 6th/7th hitter, and he's at least in the top 5 in MLB in D at the hot corner.

Plus, there's this:

FA 3B, 2007: Pedro Feliz, Corey Koskie.

I left some other names off, technically, but these are the only two I feel could even pretend to be everyday ML 3B.

These are not realistic options to replace Mike Lowell at 3B. What else? Oh? What's that? Move Youkilis back to 3B? I admit, I've pondered this idea. His offense would certainly seem more valuable at 3B (if you put any stock into VORP/league-average for positions, etc.). However, a quote from Ian Browne in the aforementioned article caught my eye.
A third baseman by trade, Youkilis has seamlessly made the transition to first. In fact, he's probably a better first baseman than he is a third baseman. Youkilis has good range and a smooth glove, and he saved teammates from plenty of errors last year.

Can't argue with that. Youkilis picked it with the best of em at 1B (in my opinion, anyway). I also have some doubts as to whether or not he would be average at 3B after two years off from the position. But just for fun, how about the FA 1B after 2007?

FA 1B, 2007: Sean Casey, Scott Hatteberg, Shea Hillenbrand, Mike Lamb, Doug M., Kevin Millar, Craig Wilson.

Again, some names left off. These are the only ones who could make an argument for playing 1B full-time.

  • Sean Casey: Good D at 1B. "The Mayor" as he was called in Cincinatti, is one of the nicest guys in baseball. However. Same age as Lowell, and probably contributes less power. Also: Casey would probably lose a footrace with Doug Mirabelli.
  • Scott Hatteberg: High .OBP, low-power 1B. We don't have one of those already, do we?
  • Shea Hillenbrand: I listed him for completion purposes only.
  • Mike Lamb: I must admit, this one intrigues me a little. I have a hunch that he might develop into a 25-HR guy given a single position and regular PT. 1B would/does hide some of his defensive shortcomings. However, not sure the FO would take him seriously as a starting corner. Not really sure they should, either.
  • Doug M.: Now that he's turned to the dark side(though I'm not sure he had a lot of choice for a ML contract), I don't really want him. Also, that whole WS ball thing might've made this a non-possiblity anyway.
  • Kevin Millar: Not sure the FO would take this one seriously either. Again. Not sure they should. Though it would be fun, and might take some of the edge off of Manny.
  • Craig Wilson: A "bit" intriguing. However, I have a feeling Atlanta proves a good match for him (and vice-versa). Bobby Cox should be able to find him enough ABs in platoon situations at 1B and at the corner OF positions. He'd probably do well to re-sign with them after the season. Probably the only one of these who could possibly be counted on to put up 25+ HRs given 500+ ABs.
Depressed yet? I am. These are not terrific options. Our top corner IF prospect, Lars Anderson hasn't played pro ball yet. MLB4U's list of trade candidates isn't exactly inspiring either. I understand this was made with 2007 in mind, but these are the same names (Sexson, Teixeira, Garko, etc.) that will be coming up next off-season as well. They're intriguing and somewhat exciting options, some of them. Some will have an extremely high price in prospects (Teixeira). Some come with awkward contracts (Sexson. Though to be fair, it would be one more year at $14M, and the M's would have to swallow somewhere near half to move him).

Anyway. All of this is reason why we'll probably see those Helton talks explored again. Me? I'd rather they re-sign Lowell.