Who’s at third?

No really. Who the hell is going to play third in 2014? The third base free agent market is damn pathetic. If you’re looking for anyone under thirty that is worth a second glance, then keep looking. Hell good luck finding anyone at all that is worth a second glance.

As much as your favorite duo would LOVEto have Juan Uribe back, the reality is that it would not be a smart move from the Dodgers. Yes, Ned Colletti said that The King is the first choice for third, but don’t forget that Ned was wearing his PR hat. Don’t expect our Beloved King to return next season. So then who will play third? Let’s take a look at some free agents and then collectively barf at the thought of them in Dodger Blue.

Kevin Youkilis:
Once the 2014 season begins, Youkilis will be 35. After raking in $12 million a year over the last three seasons, it’s safe to say that Youkilis will be looking for a multi-year deal in the $10-15 million/year range. Unfortunately for Youkilis, his last good season was in 2008 with Boston. He’s been on the decline since then, both on offense and on defense.

http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=comparison&num=4&h=450&w=450&position=1B/3B&page=2&players=1935
Source: FanGraphsKevin Youkilis

http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=comparison&num=4&h=450&w=450&position=1B/3B&page=1&players=1935
Source: FanGraphsKevin Youkilis

The first graph is Youkilis’s slugging percentage per season over the course of his career. The second graph is his on-base percentage. Both have been on a steady decline.

Also on the decline is his wOBA:

http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=comparison&num=4&h=450&w=450&position=1B/3B&page=8&players=1935
Source: FanGraphsKevin Youkilis

With all signs pointing south, Youkilis is not the third baseman the Dodgers should be going after. I really don’t have to explain why the Dodgers shouldn’t be going after Michael Young or Yuniesky Betancout. So if none of the free agent, third basemen, then who? Perhaps the Dodgers would be better off moving Hanley over to third and signing Stephen Drew to play shortstop.

Yeah, I said it!

Seriously though, Drew is coming off of a $9.5 million dollar contract with the Red Sox and arguably his best season since leaving Arizona. Offering him $27 million over three years is reasonable for the kind of infield his presence would bring. If the Dodgers were to bring him and Infante over, they would be getting an extremely solid infield over the next few years – enough time for Corey Seager and Alexander Guerrero to mature.

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