The 2013 third base free agent class has some potential compared some of the other infield positions. David Wright’s contract option will be picked up without question. Chipper Jones has been adamant that he will retire at the end of the season. I don’t see him going back on this and if he did he would never sign anywhere other than Atlanta.
Kevin Youkilis on the other hand is intriguing. He is having a subpar season hitting only .239 in 301 at bats. He had a falling out with Bobby Valentine and the Red Sox earlier in the season prompting Kenny Williams of the White Sox to swoop in and scoop him up. His numbers have improved some with the White Sox but the batting average is still lacking. The big question will be does Kenny Williams feel he can re-sign Youkilis at lower price tag allowing him to hit the free agent market or does he bite the bullet and pick up Youkilis’ $12 million option? The White Sox have Brent Morel in the minors but he doesn’t produce the same power numbers Youkilis can and Morel currently is recovering from a lumber strain.
Mark Reynolds will most likely be allowed to test the free agent waters. He has been a disappointment in Baltimore this year and justifying $11m million while only hitting 12 homers so far and 42 RBI is going to be a difficult thing to do. He has also been replaced at the third base position by the Orioles star prospect Manny Machado. If Reynolds were to stay on next year it would most likely be at a reduced price and he would be vying for the first base/DH position.
The Reds currently have Todd Frazier who has played the third base position pretty effectively. In his first 70 games played, Frazier slashed .285/.347/.542 with 10 HR, 33 RBI, 27 runs and 15 doubles. He has put up good numbers for a rookie and I see no reason not to give him the starting role over Scott Rolen next season. Rolen has long past his perennial All-Star days and is a constant injury problem.
* – player who’s currently has an option for the 2013 season.
David Wright *
Mark Reynolds *
Kevin Youkilis *
Chipper Jones *
Brandon Inge *
Placido Polanco *