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Looking into the Crystal Ball: 3B

Speculating about the future occupant of a position is sticky business in the Free Agent Era of MLB. Nevertheless, it is a lot of fun!

Let's talk about third base. Mike Lowell has 1 year left in Boston (if he's not packaged for Helton), so what do the Red Sox do at third base?

Your task is to propose trades or other organizational moves to shore up the position for 2009. There's one caveat: if it includes a free agent signing, include the maximum value you're willing to commit to the player along with a plan-B option.

In-house options:

  • Kevin Youkilis (1B/3B) 28 yrs old - The Red Sox have Youkilis in their pocket, who can be shifted back to 3B. This is their "ace in the hole" because they have some flexibility with who they want to pursue. Feel free to explore options at 1B.
  • Julio Lugo (SS/2B/3B) - Lugo was brought in to be a SS, and he's had issues when asked to play another position. Move him at your (our) own risk.
  • Chad Spann (3B) 22 yrs old - While it's too early to comment on Spann's Spring Training, I think it's safe to assume that he won't be ready for the Bigs in 2009.
  • Lars Anderson (1B) 19 yrs old - One of the Sox' only power-hitting prospects, Lars is only 19 years old. I don't think we can even call him a "prospect" yet; "project" is more like it.
Veteran 3B: (worthwhile guys who may be available via trade)

Miguel Cabrera (FLA), Aramis Ramirez (CHC), Scott Rolen (STL), Bill Hall (MIL), Chipper Jones (ATL), Adrian Beltre (SEA), Eric Chavez (OAK), Hank Blalock (TEX), Joe Crede (CHI), Chone Figgins (LAA), Melvin Mora (BAL), Freddy Sanchez (PIT), Morgan Ensberg (HOU), Ryan Freel (CIN), Chad Tracy (ARI), Mark Teahan (KC)

Veteran 3B, definitely not available:

A-Rod (NYY; He'll never be traded within his current division), David Wright (NYM), Garrett Atkins (COL), Ryan Zimmerman (NAT), Troy Glaus (TOR; same reason as A-Rod)

Top 3B prospects:

tips here
and here
Alex Gordon (3B-KC), Brandon Wood (SS/3B-LAA), Evan Longoria (3B-TB), Ryan Braun (3B-MIL), Edwin Encarnacion (3B-CIN), Ian Stewart (3B-COL), Andy LaRoche (3B-LAD), Andy Marte (3B-CLE), Blake DeWitt (3B-LAD)

My take:

Miguel Cabrera is obviously the crown jewel, but it would take another Beckett-type trade to obtain him (Hi, Hanley & Anibal!). I would love to have Ryan Zimmerman. This kid plays like Billy Mueller, and has more talent to boot. Ryan Braun is probably the best prospect to target.

So, go to town! Tell OTM what you would do.