Saturday, November 14, 2009

Who is the Solution at 3rd Base?

Ever since Corey Koskie, it seems the Twins have never really had a third baseman who solidified the position.

The Twins are probably going to try and get someone in Free Agency.

Let's take a look at some of the free agent third baseman that are available:

Miguel Tejada (36) - Type A
Chone Figgins (32) - Type A
Adrian Beltre (31) - Type B
Mark DeRosa (35) - Type B
Troy Glaus (33) - Type B
Melvin Mora (38) - Type B
Joe Crede (32)
Pedro Feliz (35)

These are the main players that are believed to be targets. Also included are all of the other Type A and B free agents at 3rd as they could be options.

Let's look at these players one at a time:

Miguel Tejada - He is 36 years old and was accused of taking performance enhancing drugs. Sorry, he is not even someone the Twins will consider.

Chone Figgins - This is the guy that seems to be getting a lot of talk. He has everything the Twins like: speed, defense, OBP, and SB. The problem is the price. Not only would he cost us our first round draft pick (Type A Free Agent), he would also probably cost us somewhere around 5 years and 50 million. I just don't think they will spend that much unless they trade away Joe Nathan. The Twins cannot spend all of their available money on just a third baseman as they have other glaring needs (Veteran Pitcher, resigning Joe Mauer, and maybe getting a second baseman.).

Adrian Beltre - Seems like a player that the Twins were always interested in. Problem is, almost all his stats have dropped off this year. Most teams will probably think it's just a fluke though, as he still had fantastic defense (21 UZR). He is still a great defensive third baseman and if he comes back to 2008 form offensively he would be the power hitter they always wanted. Also, as a Type B Free Agent, he wouldn't cost the Twins any draft picks.

Mark DeRosa - 35 years old, and had a career year in 2008. Yes, he had more home runs in 2009, though most other stats took a dip including 35 points off his batting average. Also, he is not that great defensively (-8.7 UZR). I just don't think the Twins would go after him.

Troy Glaus - He underwent arthroscopic right shoulder surgery and barely played last year. This is the kind of player the Twins like to go after normally as he has shown big numbers throughout his career. The Twins could probably give him a 1-2 year deal with incentives so he can redeem himself. Definitely someone to look at if their top choices are taken. He also wouldn't cost them any draft picks.

Melvin Mora - 38 years old, stats dropped a good amount this year... I don't think the Twins would go anywhere near this guy.

Joe Crede - Underwent his third back surgery this year. Wrong side of 30. Continues to get injured. If all other options are gone maybe the Twins would consider him on a 1 year incentive laden deal.

Pedro Feliz - This is the most interesting player that I have been hearing about. Defensive stud (9 UZR), can hit 10+ homers a year, and has shown to be able to drive in 80+ rbi's a year. Also he probably won't cost a lot. Finally the Twins wouldn't have to give up any draft picks for him. What's the down side with him? He is 35, which means he could start a decline at any point. Just like Crede, Feliz is probably a backup option if they can't get who they want.

In conclusion, I think that the Twins should get Adrian Beltre. Not only is he a great defensive third baseman (21 UZR), but he also could be that offensive weapon they have been looking for for years at third. It might take some money to get him, but it shouldn't take as much as Chone Figgins.

If the Twins cannot get Adrian Beltre, I think the Twins second option should be Troy Glaus. He won't cost a lot as he barely played last year, and could be a huge offensive weapon. He had a 5 UZR in 2008, which is above average, and could hit 25+ home runs.

If both of those players are gone, they will probably go after either Crede or Feliz.

Who do you guys think should be the Twins top free agent target at third base?

Little birdie note: Justin Morneau and his wife were recently spotted in London, on their way to Ireland for a vacation.