This hot-stove season’s 3rd base free agent pool has already been the subject of much debate, thanks to one Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez. Then there’s the other premiere free agent third baseman on the market—one Michael Averett Lowell, better known as Mike. And after that, well, we have…the rest. All of them, coincidentally (or maybe not coincidentally, come to think of it) hail from the National League, and most are light-hitting utility infielder-types in their thirties. Yikes. Teams who don’t have a great 3B under contract already and who don’t win the A-Rod/Mike Lowell sweepstakes may well be SOL.
Jeff Cirillo of Arizona These days, he’s another mid-200′s hitter with good defense, but approaching old-as-hills status at 38.
Aaron (Bleepin’) Boone of Florida Last season, he spent more time at first, and more time on the DL, but provided he can stay healthy he could probably move back across the diamond with little difficulty (if “little difficulty” means “the same high error totals we’ve come to expect from Aaron Bleepin’ Boone”). He can still hit, but his power has been gone since the steroids crackdown. One day, Tim Wakefield will find him where he sleeps.
Mike Lamb of Houston Not a bad option—he hit .289 this season with a .366 OBP. No great shakes, defensively. 32 years old.
Corey Koskie of Milwaukee Didn’t play this year after suffering a concussion on the field in 2006. The Brewers declined to exercise his 2008 option, as their hot corner will be anchored for the foreseeable future by Rookie of the Year candidate Ryan Braun. If he can make a comeback, he’ll still be a bottom-of-the-order type guy. Plus, he’s 34 already. Theoretically, he could work as a defensive replacement. Alas, this is complicated by the fact that he’s never really played any position except third. I’m guessing the Brewers are planning on making Braun take grounders 6 days a week for the next four months. He could well end up a non-roster invitee.
Abraham Nunez of Philadelphia Great defensive range, but another light-hitting 31-year-old.
Russell Branyan of St. Louis Strikes out three times as much as he walks and finished the season hitting under the Mendoza line. 31 years old. Defensively, more of a utilityman than a real third baseman.
Pedro Feliz of San Francisco Of third basemen with enough at-bats to qualify, this guy was last in the majors in OBP. However, he’s among the top 5 in defenisve ability. 32 years old.
Tony Batista of Washington Another mediocre utility infielder in his mid-30s who hits in the mid-.200s. Yawn.
Geoff Blum of San Diego Ditto, but better on defense.