Chone is as good as gone. So who plays third base next year?
Obviously Brandon Wood is the #1 candidate at this point and it is his job to lose. But can we trust him implicitly with a .559 OPS at the major league level?
Yeah Izturis is a suitable backup plan. Sometimes. But he also needs to backup the middle infielders as well. With the departure of Robb Quinlan we're going to need a backup corner man. History suggests this role should be given a roster slot.
If I'm Tony Reagins I go look for a cheap insurance policy on the Free Agent market. No major signings here. Just someone for a one year deal to fill a utility role in case Brandon Wood is a total disaster. If Wood is good enough to play everyday we have a utility backup for one year and we cut them lose after 2010. If Wood fails miserably we use the signing for the year and then seek a multi-year replacement for 2011 and beyond.
Here are the free agent third basemen still available:
Rich Aurilia (38)
Brian Barden (29)
Adrian Beltre (31) - Type B, offered arb
Aaron Boone (37)
Craig Counsell (39)
Joe Crede (32)
Bobby Crosby (30)
Mark DeRosa (35) - Type B, offered arb
Pedro Feliz (35)
Nomar Garciaparra (36)
Troy Glaus (33) - Type B, not offered arb
Adam Kennedy (34)
Mark Loretta (38)
Melvin Mora (38) - Type B, not offered arb
Pablo Ozuna (35)
Robb Quinlan (33)
Miguel Tejada (36) - Type A, not offered arb
Juan Uribe (31)
Obviously an Adrian Beltre isn't appropriate here since he's seeking a multi year deal and would require a draft pick. But what about some of the other players on this list? Would a Mark Loretta or Rich Aurilia or an Aaron Boone be appropriate at the right price?