12/3 Third base options

The market for third basemen just got more interesting. The Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez will have surgery on his left hip, and was expected to miss three to six months. The Cubs join a long list of teams looking for a third baseman unless they decide to re-sign Ian Stewart. The risk with Stewart is that he’s coming off left wrist surgery. Stewart batted .201 in 55 games last season before he was shut down and recently began doing baseball activities. Could he return to his 2009 form when he hit 25 home runs for the Rockies?

Stewart was non-tendered by the Cubs on Friday and is a free agent. Among the other free agent third basemen on the market are Garrett Atkins, Jeff Baker, Josh Bell, Geoff Blum, Sean Burroughs, Eric Chavez, Mark DeRosa, Chone Figgins, Jack Hannahan, Wes Helms, Brandon Inge, Mike Lamb, Jose Lopez, Casey McGehee, Placido Polanco, Cody Ransom, Mark Reynolds, Brandon Snyder, Ty Wigginton, and Kevin Youkilis.

– Carrie Muskat

13 Comments

Stewart has had good years in the past – the wrist could be the reason for the slump in recent years – can’t swing a bat effectively with a bad wrist. If Cubs brass don’t expect Stewart to regain his form, then how about bringing Baker back and platoon with Valbuena? Baker hit LHP well and Valbuena is a decent utility player at 3B or 2B and will get his reps and field time in while platooning. We know we have Lake/Vitters to come up in ’14 (or before?) and we could always trade Baker to a contender again for another prospect. I’m not sold on the other 3B and its not a position to dump mega-money at with this group.

I would rather have Mark DeRosa than Baker. Mark can play several positions and we know what we get with Mark, much better than Baker.

I thought about DeRosa – had good years with the Cubs – but he’s older than Baker (if memory serves) and has been hurt too much in recent years. He’s a valuable veteran on a playoff team who can give you give pinch hits and spot starts occasionally. We’re looking for a full-time or platooning 3B who can give us innings. I think DeRosa’s best days are behind him. He would be a valuable veteran to teach the kids, as he did in SF and Washington.

mark derosa is in the same boat as stewart…. injured… unreliable at this point

man thats a bad list of 3B….. i would rather see Vitters at 3B before any of the above names…. at least he could improve and is as cheap as it gets. With the recent news of the Rockies trying to get rid of Tulo, i would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see him in a cubs uniform. The contract is big but we have the money to absorb it. Maybe give them soriano in the package….

Vitters? You are kidding, right? Vitters couldn’t even make it in Venezuela and had to just come home to “workout” for the winter. Stewart should certainly be given the chance to come back after wrist surgery. And Valbueno would be a good relief 3rd baseman.

no not kidding because he has struggled everytime he has been promoted but then caught on in his second year. Do I like the idea of Vitters at 3B? NO but if its going to be CRAP it might as well be the cheapest turd of the bunch. Valbueno is a bench player at best… very low ceiling…. Vitters ceiling is much much higher.

Valbuena and Vitters would make a logical (poor, yes but logical) platoon at 3B with such slim pickings on the free agent market. At least Vitters would be guaranteed a decent aomount of at bats and can work with the new hitting coach, gain experience and have ONE SHOT at an almost full season in the bigs or it’s back to AAA or elsewhere….None of the other guys are worth a contract, including DeRosa and Stewrart. If I had to choose one…YouKillUs would be ok.

I would try one of the FO 1 year contracts. A guy like Scott Rolen knows hes not going to get a long term deal. Fill it with incentives and a promise to try to trade him to a contender in July.
This should make him want to play and do his best for a contract next winter. that one year could make the difference in seeing whats in the minors or give the FO a better selection in next years FA market.
Valbuena can once again back up 3rd and take over in July.

Not sure what good Rolen and the money it would take to sign him would do for the Cubs in 2013, another year of developing. He certainly would cost more than a platoon of Valbuena and Vitters and at the same time deny Vitters a golden opportunity to prove himself. Now that I think of it, I would have to change my previous comment regarding YouKillUs…I wouldn’t sign any of the free agents. If the Cubs can’t trade for a solid, young, five year player at third base then they might as well play the low talent, low cost options they have…for now anyway.

I think your right on the 5 year plan joey, they are inquiring on Olt now, but Texas dont want to give him up. If its just one year, why not at least inquire on Rolen? I am not saying to sign him, but his name has not popped up to much YET! If he wants to play, might get him reasonable enough.
Cubs definately need someone with some power hitting behind Rizzo in case Soriano gets traded.

When you put it that way it sounds more reasonable. I wouldn’t OBJECT to the Cubs signing Rolen as he would be better than a recovering Stewart…right? AND, you really have me convinced to sign Rolen when you teased me with the possible Soriano trade!!! Woo Hoo!!

would you rather have an older rolen who is injury prone or the younger stewart who is injury prone? Pretty much a crap shoot there…. I would also argue that Rolen wouldn’t have much more pop than Stewart…. rolen has hit 13 hr in the last two years…. granted injuries have plagued him too. I don’t like either option

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