Friday, November 20, 2009

CHONE Projections for Potential Oriole Third Basemen

Free agency kicks off today! The Orioles need a third baseman so I wanted to look at the free agents available this off-season. I would rather the Orioles fill third through with free agent signee for two years or less. Why? Because:

1) I don't want the Orioles giving up prospects for a Dan Uggla-type (who, by the way, has stated through his agent that he wants to keep playing second, not move to third...)
2) I don't want to sign a veteran to a contract that may block Josh Bell when he looks ready to play.

The 2010 CHONE Projections for some free agent third basemen:

Troy Glaus .247/.351/.436 10
C. Figgins .276/.375/.367 4
A. Beltre .272/.322/.448 1
M. DeRosa .257/.335/.416 -1
J. Crede .255/.317/.439 -1
J. Uribe .254/.299/.420 -10
J. Hairston .254/.318/.380 -11
P. Feliz .254/.298/.393 -16

The Baltimore Sun has mentioned Hank Blalock as a potential target for the Orioles but I have a hard time believing they want him for third base. I imagine if he is signed that he will play third as much as Aubrey Huff did.

I'm eliminating Chone Figgins. That guy's getting a 5-year deal for sure. I am also beginning to believe that Adrian Beltre is going to get a 3+ year deal so he's off the list too.

Glaus is scary with shoulder and back injuries recently. He would be available on a short deal but you'd have to be hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. Ditto for Joe Crede and the Twins are looking to re-sign him for 2010 anyway.

That leaves DeRosa, Uribe, Hairston and Feliz and that's the definition of slim pickings. DeRosa, Uribe and Hairston all bring varying degrees of offense and defensive abilities and all have the ability to become a utility player once a better option is available at third. Pedro Feliz would be a classic good glove/bad bat.

However, let's compare the in-house options to the free agents. Again, 2010 CHONE Projections:

T. Wigginton .269/.323/.446 1
Scott Moore .254/.325/.447 2

Neither of these guys will embarrass themselves with the glove and both are projected to hit better than the quartet I listed above. And neither will block Bell.

Maybe there's an interesting trade that will provide value at third and not move any of our top prospects. But the O's are a long shot to contend in 2010. I think they should look for options at first base and let Wigginton and (a healthy) Scott Moore platoon at third.


FrostKing said...

Wiggy's -16.4 UZR/150 career at third is pretty bad. I wouldn't want him over there except when absolutely needed. And given the way Moore has hit in the minors the last two years, I might take the under on that line as well.

I certainly wouldn't pay much for a 3B, but I wouldn't mind trying to find a bargain.

Anonymous said...

Ty Wigginton doe not excite me as an opening day third baseman. Unless he comes to camp in the best shape of his career. He is a good utility player, but if he wants an everyday job - get in shape. Give the job to Scott Moore. Make it his job to loose and ditto on the best shape of his career. He needs to realize that this is his opportunity to make us forget about Josh Bell. At least for a couple years.

DempseysArmy said...

So here's the challenge (especially for Frost King)...given the realistic short term options for the Orioles at third, how should they fill 3B for next year through free agency? I'm looking for ideas...