Guest Post: The Trade Market at Third Base

Anthony Rodin is a Phillies and Mariners fan, as well as a freelance blogger whose work has been posted on Phillies Nation and ProBallNW.  You can follow him on Twitter @AntsInIN or e-mail arod1300 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Hot Corner Hot Stove Update – Introduction and April 

In 2010 it was another starter in Roy Oswalt. In 2011, it was a slugging outfielder in Hunter Pence.  In this young season, a third baseman with power is the Phillies’ most pressing need. They lack internal options and thus will have to scour the trade market for someone at the hot corner.  While the season is barely a month old, it is becoming apparent that Placido Polanco (currently hitting .250/.299/.292) is on his last legs.  Though he may have some utility in the Wilson Valdez/Michael Martinez mold by playing around the infield once or twice a week, Polanco clearly cannot start.

Unfortunately, due to previous trades and a weak farm system, the Phillies have less to work with than in the past, especially when it comes to MLB-ready prospects.  Domonic Brown is the only player in this category, with other players like Tyson Gillies and Phillippe Aumont being relatively close but nowhere near the ceiling of Brown.  Trevor May and Jessie Biddle are still a long ways from the majors, and Biddle especially is having trouble at the lower levels.

Financially, too, the Phillies are squeezed.  Team payroll is at $174.5 million.  The luxury tax threshold for 2012 is $178 million.  That leaves very little wiggle room for the front office to get a deal done under that tax.  Of course, the front office may realize that the window for competing is rapidly closing and could just go all “damn the torpedoes” and exceed the cap anyways.  In my opinion, they can afford to eat financial costs a lot more than paying in prospects, but that may change.

Given all the above, what options are there for the Phillies?  Are there any potential matches out there this early in the season that are worth keeping an eye on as the hot stove heats up?  And if so, what are the costs, both in terms of prospects and money, that would be required to get them? Let’s take a look.  Please, remember that we are dealing with small sample sizes here, and that some players may be off the market as their teams heat up and remain in the race late into the summer, especially with the new second wildcard spot open.  I’ve lumped the candidates into 5 categories: the superstars, the defensive wastelands, the contract dumps, the long-term solutions and a smattering of possible replacement-levels.

The Superstars

David Wright – NYM

2010: .283/.354/.503, 3.9 WAR (Baseball Reference)

2011: .254/.345/.427, 1.4 WAR

2012: .383/.494/.569

Salary: 2012: $15M; 2013: $16M (club option)

Say it with me now: The Phillies are not going to trade for David Wright. The Phillies are not going to trade for David Wright. The Phillies are not going to trade for David Wright.  Got the picture?  David Wright is too expensive, both in prospects and cash. To get Wright, the Phillies would easily have to give up Brown, Aumont and one or two decent prospects to a division rival, even more if the Phils want the Mets to eat some of the salary.  Plus, Wright’s 2013 option is voided if he is traded, essentially turning him into a half-year rental.  Sure, there is nothing to prevent the Phils from going after him, but the free agency market for third basemen next year is not pretty, and lots of teams with cash will be more than happy to overpay for a slugger at a premium position.  Also, the Mets by no means have to deal Wright, as their finances are starting to stabilize as the Madoff case has been settled and the Wilpons aren’t in as dire straits as initially thought. 

Kevin Youkilis – BOS

2010: .307/.411/.564, 4.8 WAR

2011: .258/.373/.459, 4.3 WAR

2012: .219/.292/.344

Salary: 2012: $12M; 2013: $13M club option ($0.5M buyout)

Youkilis probably won’t be on the market, as the Sox are actually starting to play some decent ball and the rift between Valentine and Youkilis seems to have been smoothed over.  However, if the Sox scuffle in divisional play and find themselves in fourth or fifth come the trade deadline, Youkilis could be available as the Sox look to get younger and shed some payroll.  Youk would fit right in with the rest of the ancient Phillies infield and he is a tremendous injury risk.  However, he would also bring some much-needed patience to a free-swinging ballclub and his defense is at least league average.   To get Youk though, if he is on the market, the Phils will most likely have to get rid of their last few elite prospects, with May and Brown being requisites in the trade with at least two more mid- or lower-level guys with some projectability.  Getting Youk would, in short, turn an already depleted farm system into something looking like Depression-era Oklahoma.

The Defensive Wastelands

Mark Reynolds – BAL

2010: .198/.320/.433, 0.4 WAR

2011: .221/.323/.483, 0.5 WAR

2012: .158/.284/.228

Salary: 2012: $7.5M; 2013: $11M club option ($0.5M buyout)

Reynolds’ free-swinging ways would fit right in with the Phillies, as he has led the league in strikeouts for four straight years.  However, he also has prestigious power when he connects, belting 44, 32 and 37 homers in the last 3 years.  He would also add some balance to a still lefty-heavy lineup, providing some serious pop from the right side. Unfortunately, his glove is simply atrocious and eliminates almost all of the value his bat brings. Coupled with his high salary, especially for 2013, Reynolds shouldn’t be too expensive in terms of prospects and may not be a bad fallback choice, especially if the offensive woes continue into the summer.

Edwin Encarnacion – TOR

2010: .244/.305/.482, 1.6 WAR

2011: .272/.334/.453, 1.0 WAR

2012: .322/.376/.678

Salary: 2012: $3.5M

Encarnacion is on a tear this year, belting six homers already.  He’s more patient, cheaper, and less of a defensive abomination than Reynolds.  Unfortunately he’s a free agent after this year, making him a rental.  For the Phils, a three-month rental may not make sense, as losing even a middling prospect for such a short term player is a poor use of scarce resources.

Wilson Betemit – BAL

2010: .297/.378/.511, 1.3 WAR

2011: .285/.343/.452, 1.3 WAR

2012: .241/.268/.481

Salary: 2012: $1M; 2013: $1.75M; 2014: $3.2M player option (vests at 700 PA between 2012-2013)

Betemit has been an above-average bat and below-average glove for a few years now, and is signed relatively cheaply through at least 2013.  The reason he’s here instead of the long-term solutions is that his glove is below-average, though not nearly as bad as Reynolds’.  Betemit is a bit of a free swinger, but has power and bats from both sides (with a pretty substantial platoon split).  If Baltimore does eventually collapse as so many think they will, they have a couple of options that should be on the Phillies’ radar.

Mark Trumbo – LAA

2011: .254/.291/.477, 2.1 WAR

2012: .304/.373/.543

Salary: Arbitration-eligible beginning in 2014

There’s a reason why Trumbo is here and not the Long Term Solutions group.  Trumbo is atrocious at 3B. He is easily the worst glove in this category.  The only reason he’s at 3B to begin with is because the Angels have about 38 1B/DH/corner outfield types and they need to find some way to get all their bats in the lineup.  Thus began the Mark Trumbo Experiment, which has resulted in him making three errors in just nine chances.  He is not a long-term solution at third base for anyone.  He really doesn’t have much of a position in the field outside of first base, and the Phils have that position locked down for the next half decade.  Plus, because he is club controlled for so long, the Angels will probably charge a hefty price in prospects, which just doesn’t make sense when the return is a guy with a sub-.300 on-base percentage.

Contract Dumps

Chone Figgins – SEA

2010: .259/.340/.306, 1.1 WAR

2011: .188/.241/.243, -0.5 WAR

2012: .209/.274/.337

Salary: 2012: $9.5M; 2013: $8.5M

Full disclosure: I am a Mariners fan, and I want this bum off my team.  To Figgins’ credit, his line this year isn’t indicative of his performance.  He’s hitting more line drives but still has a .262 BABIP.  He’s connecting with the ball a lot better than he has since his Mariners contract began in 2010 (he has more home runs than even Albert Pujols!).  He can also play numerous positions — shortstop, second base, and any outfield position if necessary.  Concerning is the fact that his walk rate is down and his K rate is way up (24.2%; his previous career high was 16.2% in 2010).  Due to his high price tag, Figgins should come cheaply in terms of prospects, and the Mariners have enough salary room that they can eat the remainder of the 2012 salary.  The question is whether or not he’d truly be an upgrade over Polanco or Wigginton, or if his career is just as over as Polly’s.

Replacement-Level

I’m not going to do a full breakdown of each player here, but there are numerous guys who might be available at the trade deadline who should be cheap in both money and prospects, but who offer only a marginal upgrade over Wigginton/Polanco.  These include Casey McGehee, Jack Hannahan, and Chris Johnson. Yeah, not a lot to get excited about there, though Hannahan’s glove is really good. 

Long-Term Solutions

These are guys who the Phils should target in a trade and then, if necessary, extend them.  There is a dearth of talent at third base right now (as this post is highlighting), and if the Phils can lock down a productive or cheap (or both) bat at the position for the next few years, they should do it.

Chase Headley – SD

2010: .264/.327/.375, 3.6 WAR (.289/.334/.432 away from Petco)

2011: .289/.374/.399, 2.0 WAR (.330/.399/.465 away from Petco)

2012: .253/.388/.470

Salary: 2012: $3.475M, under arbitration through 2014

It’s hard not to like Headley, especially after seeing him destroy the Phils recently in San Diego.  Headley’s numbers have been deflated by Petco (as you can see), but he is a patient gap-hitter with a solid glove.  Headley’s patience is something the Phillies desperately need, and playing 82 games at Citizens Bank Park instead of Petco should help his numbers. With Zimmermann out, one could make the argument that Headley is among the top 3 third basemen in the NL right now.  Because he’s cheap and club controlled, Headley would most certainly cost the Phillies a fortune.  However, in looking at the free agency market for the next couple years, a corner OF like Domonic Brown is going to be a lot easier to find than an above average 3B.

Alberto Callaspo – LAA

2010: .265/.302/.374, 1.8 WAR

2011: .288/.366/.375, 4.5 WAR

2012: .182/.217/.182

Salary: 2012: $3.15M; 2013: arbitration-eligible

Callaspo is the 4-WAR guy you’ve never heard of.  While his batting line isn’t exactly sexy, he makes good contact and avoids making strikeouts.  He’s solid defensively at third base, and can also play shortstop and second base competently.  Callaspo isn’t a guy you build a team around, but he is an excellent companion piece to an already-existing core, a guy who can play a position of value well above replacement level for cheap.  The Angels are still trying to find their best lineup, which cost Callaspo playing time this year.  The Phils should even be able to get him without sacrificing Brown, though given the current state of the Angels bullpen, you figure Phillippe Aumont would have to be involved in some fashion.

Kyle Seager – SEA

2011: .258/.312/.379, 0.9 WAR

2012: .278/.288/.417

Salary: Arbitration-eligible beginning in 2015

Yes, another Mariner.  Seager’s a contact-heavy gap hitter with some pop.  He plays a solid third base, but can play second base and shortstop as well.  Like Callaspo, he’s a good young complementary piece who could lock down a position of need for the next half decade.  He’s had a rough April in terms of patience (1.4 BB%), and while he’s never drawn a lot of walks, he doesn’t strike out a lot, either.  Domonic Brown would likely have to go to Seattle in a deal involving Seager, but considering Brown’s tenuous ride with the Phillies thus far, it may be a good match for both sides. The Mariners have plenty of depth at 3B (Alex Liddi, Figgins, with Francisco Martinez and Vinnie Catricala due up the next couple years) that they can afford to trade him.

That’s the market. At this point, it’s still wide open since there are no clear buyers or sellers.  As the calendar turns from May to June, though, we’ll revisit this list and begin to separate out those who aren’t available, and add in any newcomers.

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33 comments

  1. Tom

    May 02, 2012 08:11 AM

    This is the perfect example of the type of articles that get written when people who don’t know what they’re doing make assumptions based on the first few weeks of the baseball season. Perhaps he hasn’t tuned into baseball for a week? Polly is still an exceptionally talented defensive third baseman. Although his strike outs spiked to start the year, there’s absolutely no reason to assume that he’s no longer an option and that “clearly Polanco cannot start”.

    So long as we’re throwing reason out the window and blindly believing in small sample sizes I’ll say this: Why would you want any of these options when we have a gold glove third baseman who’s been hitting .400 over the past week?

  2. Richard

    May 02, 2012 08:31 AM

    Tom is right. There’s no reason to assume Polanco is cooked just yet.

    Also, the idea that Mark Reynolds “free-swinging ways would fit right in with the Phillies, as he has led the league in strikeouts for four straight years” is further evidence of not attending to detail. Are the Phillies free-swingers? Sure, they haven’t been walking much this year, as yet, but they don’t strike out much either (other than Mayberry, alas, and Howard when he’s playing).

  3. Noah

    May 02, 2012 08:44 AM

    Whether it’s clear that Polly can or can’t start I do think is up for debate. But I think the point of this article is to go over the options available. Which is to say not that much. While the thought of David Wright in the lineup would be pretty nice. I can’t see how he could be had for something reasonable. Everyone else doesn’t strike me as a huge improvement. Once Utley and Howard are back there are several options to spell Polly on off nights. I am curious who will be sent down when those two are back. Any thoughts?

  4. mratfink

    May 02, 2012 08:44 AM

    reasons to think polanco is cooked despite small sample size: until the last two games i haven’t seen him pull the ball once (and that was such a surprise to the other team that they had their left fielder way over towards center), he cannot catch up to a good fastball unless he guesses right and he is making more weak contact than he ever has before. That said his defense is still very good, but all indications are that his bat is practically done

  5. Nick

    May 02, 2012 08:44 AM

    I think the term “Superstars” is used a bit loosely in many cases here. Edwin Encarnacion’s mother probably doesn’t even think he is a superstar.

  6. Nick

    May 02, 2012 08:45 AM

    Ahh please regard previous post. I totally missed the “Defensive Wastelands” category! That’s about right.

  7. LTG

    May 02, 2012 09:10 AM

    Richard,

    The Phillies have the highest swing-rate on pitches outside the strike zone in MLB. They have the 5th highest swing rate period. The only reason they are in the 3rd quartile of K-rate is that they make contact at a rate 2nd in MLB. Free-swinging is not only a matter of striking out. (Just think, patient hitters will strike out by taking called third-strikes or getting behind in the count.) Free-swinging is a matter of swinging at more pitches than normal, and, when it is used disparagingly, more pitches than is wise.

    The mixture of free-swinging and high contact has led to a lot of weak contact. They have a low line drive rate, high ground ball rate, and a very low HR/FB rate. Their ISO is the worst in the league. It would be better if they struck out more because they made less contact but were more selective and thus made better contact.

    Whatever one thinks about the Polanco-premise of the article, the free-swinging premise is accurate.

  8. ktrimble

    May 02, 2012 09:37 AM

    Chase Headley is the way to go. In Philly he would be a star.

  9. Phillie697

    May 02, 2012 09:41 AM

    Yeah… Only an idiot would suggest trading Dom Brown for Kyle Seager. I think you’re just a Mariners fan pretending to be a Phillies fan and trying to sabotage us. Seager’s minor league numbers were bolstered by ridiculous BABIP, ones that even the most optimistic of observers would realize it’s not a real indication of his abilities; .418 BABIP in AAA, really?

    Don’t get me wrong, he’s a decent prospect, but not one worth Dom Brown. I’d think about trading Brown for Headley yes, but Seager? Yeah that’s not bias talking or anything.

  10. LTG

    May 02, 2012 09:53 AM

    Phillie,

    Perhaps not bias but a good indication of how Brown is perceived by outsiders? RAJ is strangling Freedom’s trade value.

  11. Phillie697

    May 02, 2012 09:57 AM

    LTG,

    Yeah well his slow start in 2012 isn’t helping any…

    But to counter your point, a self-professed supposed Phillies fan shouldn’t be considered an outsider, unless he’s just faking it, which was the point of my post :)

  12. Bill Baer

    May 02, 2012 10:07 AM

    I’m usually proud of the commenters here but you guys are being unnecessarily mean to someone who put a lot of hard work and research into this guest post. Shape up.

  13. LTG

    May 02, 2012 10:10 AM

    Right, but your post collapses the distinction between honest evaluation by an outsider and bias. They are not necessarily the same. Insiders discount RAJ’s handling of Freedom because we’ve seen him play. Outsiders use the RAJ-information in their evaluations to supplement the lack of visual evidence. This is not a matter of overvaluing their kin and undervaluing strangers. It is just an attempt to be epistemically responsible with a defective information set.

    Thus, whatever you claim to have been your point, the accusation of bias is not clearly justified. The point you claim could have been made otherwise.

    He also might be an insider who sees the need at 3B to be dire enough to justify an overpay to get a long-term solution. He might accurately rate Freedom’s value but consider it expendable. This seems to accord with the Polanco-premise and the line about being able to get a corner-outfielder on the market. But, then, this has nothing to do with bias or being an outsider.

    On self-professed fans and the insider/outsider distinction: the term fan is too vague to support the inference you want it to ground. I’m a fan of the Red Sox because my girlfriend is from Boston and loves the Red Sox. But I’m not an insider, nor would I ever want to be.

  14. hk

    May 02, 2012 10:32 AM

    I thought that Wilson Betemit would be a good fit (prior to the Thome, Wigginton and Nix acquisitions) as a platoon partner for Polly and I see no reason to change that view. He hits much better vs. RHP’s than Polly, so he could start about 2/3 of the games and have Polly replace him in the field in those games the Phils are winning. The problem now is that he is signed to a team-friendly deal and even if (when?) Baltimore collapses, the O’s would not seem to be in a rush to unload him unless the acquiring team was willing to overpay.

  15. euphronius

    May 02, 2012 11:13 AM

    Nice post. I agree Headley is the way to go as well.

  16. Richard

    May 02, 2012 11:52 AM

    LTG – it was including the strikeout rate in the “free-swinging” formulation that I was objecting to. I’m aware that the Phillies are swinging at a lot of pitches (that is, I don’t think it’s wrong to characterize the Phillies as free-swingers, but it is misleading to use a high-strikeout guy in the comparison). (Reynolds, it’s worth noting in this context, is not swinging at a lot of pitches. His swing rate is at a career low.)

  17. Dustin

    May 02, 2012 12:37 PM

    +1 to the posts by Richard and Tom in the first two comments. I guess I am disappointed to read something here that uses a month sample to determine that a player is done. Is Albert Pujols also done then, too, since he didn’t hit a home run in April? Polanco is actually 29 points better in wOBA, clearly he’s a better hitter than Pujols.

    This site always preaches large sample sizes and patience in evaluating players and numbers. I didn’t expect to read something like this here. Although that doesn’t make the analysis of the trade market any less interesting and relevant, and I thought that part was well done and a good read.

  18. Bxe1234

    May 02, 2012 12:45 PM

    Maikel Franco in low A is probably 3 full years away, and he may be the only option in our minor leagues I’ve that span. If Galvis can play 3b, (and improve his bat), maybe he’s a stopgap next year. Maybe. And also maybe Cody Asche from high A, (raking right now), can make it in 2014. So there are longer term internal options, but if we learned nothing else from the film version of Moneyball, it’s that long term projection for minor leaguers is risky. If it wasn’t Brad Pitt would have been starting in center for the 86 WS winning Mets. Wait, if he is, then Mookie never hits that grounder…and…Buckner…and…OMG!!!!!!

    Sorry.

  19. Screwgie

    May 02, 2012 12:52 PM

    Charlie sticking with another completely fried player at 3B will be the difference maker in the Phillies making or not making the playoffs. The dude already has no power left and has looked like crap for close to a full calendar year. Quality work, Anthony.

  20. Phillie697

    May 02, 2012 01:16 PM

    LTG,

    Point taken, but last time I checked, I AM allowed to disagree with both his conclusion AND his premise, no? You pointed out a lot of “might”‘s, as if to suggest that I have to accept at least some of them. Well, no offense, I don’t. I found his conclusion too far-fetched as to suggest perhaps bias, and you are entitled to disagree. And by bias I don’t just mean him discounting Brown’s abilities; there is also probably some unwarranted optimism regarding Seager since he’s a self-professed Mariners fan. If he’s allowed to “discount” Brown as an “outsider,” I am allowed to “discount” Seager for the same reason, no?

    And a “fan,” as you define it, doesn’t go around posting on Phillies sites offering analysis on the Phillies. If you’re willing to put yourself out there, you should be ready to accept criticism. That said, I don’t even know if he doesn’t accept my criticism; only that you don’t. I will agree perhaps I came off a little too strong, but that was probably an emotional reaction to the suggestion of trading Brown for Seager.

  21. Tony

    May 02, 2012 01:29 PM

    I think this post wouldn’t be so controversial if the premise was “the Phils can do better than Polly as a starting 3B” instead of “Polly is done.” That’s rubbing people the wrong way, and for good reason.

    The important point the post makes is that we really don’t have an up-and-coming 3B option that we can pencil in for the near future, so why wouldn’t we try to go out and address the greatest need? I also agree that Dom Browns are easier to find than Chase Headleys, and I’m of the opinion that if Dom Brown hits his ceiling, it’s just not going to happen as a member of the Phils organization, so let’s get some value for him before he falters again as a call-up on a very short leash.

  22. LTG

    May 02, 2012 01:34 PM

    The “might”s are possibility claims with prima facie superiority because they are more charitable readings than any attribution of bias could be. When interpreting and responding to an argument, one should always employ the principle of charity. Make the other side as plausible as possible then reveal its flaw. But one need not even maximize the principle of charity in order to see that almost any alternative interpretation will be superior to one that attributes bias to the author. Bias is one of those attributions that only sticks when it is the only possibility left.

    At no point did I deny the possibility of disagreeing with premises and conclusions of arguments on reasonable grounds. Nor did I deny that a Seager-Freedom swap would be too little for too much; I even granted it in what I said above. I simply claimed that, given the plethora of live alternatives in this case, the attribution of bias is insupportable.

    And I wouldn’t call the attribution of bias a criticism of the author. It’s an accusation. Criticisms can be responded to by pointing to publicly recognizable propositions. Accusations, in a non-legal sense, require the author to defend himself from sincerity, which is by definition private. Is he supposed to respond by saying “No, I’m not biased”?

  23. LTG

    May 02, 2012 01:36 PM

    Richard,

    Point taken. But I would have said Reynolds is not a free swinger, just a swing-and-misser.

  24. Phillie697

    May 02, 2012 01:41 PM

    LTG,

    Would you agree that even honest opinions/evaluations are in fact prone to bias from the subconscious level? Where did I suggest that his bias was intentional?

    And had I used the words “only an idiot would suggest trading Dom Brown for Kyle Seager” in an article I authored as my own and made that statement in a general sense as opposed to a response to someone’s article, the likely response from you is probably you nodding your head at your desk while reading. Yet somehow, that exact same statement made here made you draw the conclusion that I was perhaps somehow mean-spirited. Maybe you just have a level of sensitivity that I don’t have, nor find necessary.

  25. LTG

    May 02, 2012 02:18 PM

    I never called you mean. (BB mentioned something about mean comments, but he is not I and he didn’t specify you.)

    I claimed you were interpretively uncharitable in the strict sense that corresponds to the principle above, and that the accusation of bias puts the author in an impossible dialectical position. These have nothing to do with being mean or nice. I could be (and have been) very nice to someone while terribly misconstruing his argument. It’s not about sensitivity; it’s about dialectic and the dialogue into which it is embedded.

    Accordingly, I said nothing about the “idiot” line since that has nothing to do with bias. If you had written it in an article I probably would have passed over it without comment, as I have so far here, but that does not mean I would agree with it. (Believing x does not entail that I should believe only an idiot would believe not-x.)

    Perhaps you feel picked on because I only ever have these meta-disagreements with you. What can I say? You often have good points and good grounds on which to make them. They just get mixed up in extraneous claims you don’t need for your point and that don’t support it. On your substantive points I often find myself, if not agreeing, then feeling the persuasive tug.

  26. Phillie697

    May 02, 2012 02:32 PM

    LTG,

    If you didn’t mean any judgment, then I apologize for thinking that you did.

    I don’t think my conclusion of bias was out of line like you say, because I don’t agree with you that bias should be a conclusion of last resort. I state my opinions based on the available facts to conclude on what the most likely suggested outcome is. In this case, I believe the most likely outcome is that his conclusion was tainted by bias, although I do not believe it was intentional.

    For example, if a Mets fan suggested that we should trade Brown for Josh Thole because he believes that trade is fair, I would find your suggestion that I go out of my way to find an alternative interpretation/explanation for his suggestion absurd, and that a conclusion of bias more than appropriate. It’s not as extreme as it is here, but I still find the explanation of bias the most likely conclusion.

  27. Phillie697

    May 02, 2012 02:34 PM

    I meant to say it’s not as extreme here…

  28. Matt B.

    May 02, 2012 04:02 PM

    I think the phils should consider Utley at third to save his aching kness from where and tear of second base. At 3rd you either make the play or not and the running is less than 2nd,

  29. Pat

    May 02, 2012 04:09 PM

    Brown’s value is probably half way between Seager and Headley. I’m still high on him (probably some bias), but at the peak of his prospect status he was a RF with blossoming power (22 HRs in 2010). Now he’s a shaky LF who might be a 1B. He’s got 5 HRs since the start of last season. If he can’t play the OF, he might be James Loney.

    I like Betemit as a hedge against a Polanco injury/tailspin. He won’t be terribly expensive, can hit righties, and allows Polanco to move into a quasi-utility role.

  30. Pat

    May 02, 2012 04:11 PM

    Matt – The issue with moving Utley to 3rd is his arm. It’s below average for a 2b and probably isn’t strong enough to allow his to play 3rd.

  31. Dave Woodling

    May 02, 2012 06:25 PM

    There is a young third baseman in the Cleveland organization named Lonnie Chisenhall. He is an excellant hitter, and learning third base as he never played before two years ago. Can be got a lot cheaper, and will be a quality player for years to come, not just a stop gap measure. Plus he has told me he would loved to play in Philadelphia. Was with Clewveland for several months last year and showed good power and run driving in ability.

  32. Dustin

    May 02, 2012 07:17 PM

    3-for-3 today.

  33. Brian

    May 04, 2012 02:40 PM

    Please don’t actually consider including Trevor May in a deal for Youkilis. Your saying Polanco’s done, well that may or may not be true, but Youk’s not much better at this point and May’s a stud. Just say NO! to this one.

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