Third Base Options For The Colorado Rockies

In Ken Rosenthal's Full Count video for Foxsports.com, one of the topics he covered was the Colorado Rockies and their expected pursuit of a power hitting bat at third base this offseason. 

Pursuing a third baseman in the offseason makes a whole lot of sense for the Rockies. Their third basemen in 2011 have been some of the worst in baseball. Ian Stewart has never materialized and Ty Wigginton is nothing more than a stopgap.

Overall, Rockie third basemen have combined to produce a .222/.280/.354 slash line with 18 HR's and rank 27th in baseball with a -1.0 WAR. I think it's safe to say nobody is going to be in a rush to sponsor their Baseball-Reference pages.

If the Rockies are going to pursue a power hitting third baseman or a third baseman in general this offseason, let's take a look at their potential options in both free agency and trades...

Free Agents

Aramis Ramirez: Ramirez has a $16MM club option for 2012 and it will be up to the new Chicago Cubs GM to figure out whether or not Ramirez is worth it. Even if Ramirez's contract does get picked up, he can still void and forfeit the option. This is certainly an option as Ramirez could look for a multi-year deal and take advantage of a weak third base market.

Ramirez offensively would be a nice fit in Colorado, but his defense has gotten really bad over the past couple of years and defense is something that is needed in Colorado.

Trade Candidates

Mark Reynolds: Reynolds signed his extension (three years, $14.5MM) with the Arizona Diamondbacks, so it's not like the Baltimore Orioles are married to him. In his first year with the Orioles, Reynolds has put up a .212/.316/.460 slash line with 27 HR's. However, his defense at third has been really bad by UZR standards (-21.6)

With the Orioles years away from contention, I don't see how Reynolds fits into the Orioles long-term plans, so if they can get something for him, they should.

Gordon Beckham: I don't know if the Chicago White Sox are ready to give up on Beckham just yet, but Kenny Williams is known to have a short fuse. Beckham has been a major disappointment to the White Sox and to my fantasy team in his two and a half major league seasons and looks like he just needs a change of scenery.

Beckham played in 102 games at third in 2009.

David Wright: Wright is the face of the New Mets franchise and with Jose Reyes potentially leaving the Mets after the season, I doubt the they would entertain offers for Wright. However, I thought the Mets should have broken up their core -- Wright, Reyes, and Carlos Beltran -- after the 2008 season when they had their second collapse in the span of 12 months.

Beltran is already gone and Reyes might be gone, so I doubt Wright would want to spend his core years on a 70-win team. Wright would cost a ton, but would be the Holy Grail for the Rockies.

Non-Tender Candidates

Casey McGehee: After a hideous first half, McGehee has really turned it up in the second half. However, it's still possible the Milwaukee Brewers could non-tender him in the offseason. 

My fear with the Rockies signing McGehee if he does become available is that he looks like Garrett Atkins 2.0.

Whomever the Rockies end up with this offseason will most certainly be an upgrade over what they have now. They just have to decide if it is worth it to spend the money on someone like Ramirez or fork over some prospects for someone like Wright or Beckham.

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