When a player is still adjusting to big league speed, it’s unlikely one would want to move said player from his original position. However, with the loss of a middle of the order (douchebag) bat in Marcell Ozuna, the Braves might have to get creative at the trade deadline. Thus far in 2021, Austin Riley, aka ARCHE, is destroying baseballs offensively and bobbling baseballs defensively. I still think he’s going to work out to be an average defender at 3rd with an average twitch and strong throwing arm, but the sample isn’t weighing in his favor in 2021. In all likelihood. Abraham Almonte will not be able to continue disguising himself as April Guillermo Heredia who was in disguise as August (2011) Jose Constanza, and therefore the Braves will need an OFer. Sure, the logical choice would be to just grab an OFer, but Anthopoulos doesn’t operate that way. Several times he’s stated that he’ll go get the player, then decide the fit later. Could that fit be a 3rd baseman? Unlikely, but maybe.
These Teams are Prepping for 2022
There were some teams coming into the 2021 season that were predicted to be terrible. Naturally, they turned out to be terrible. The following teams will likely be selling their expiring assets because their asses are already toast:
- Baltimore Orioles
- Detroit Tigers
- Minnesota Twins
- Texas Rangers
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Cincinnati Reds
- Colorado Rockies
- Arizona Diamondbacks
There could be more that emerge, but that’s a solid list. In this exercise, we’ll also target shortstops that could make the 1/2 year move over to 3B.
Well, they suck and so do their 3B. However, Freddy Galvis is playing a very good shortstop and has found good power in his switch-hitting bat, which comes in fairly neutral in career splits. He’s on a remarkable $1.5MM deal, so it’ll take a decent prospect to make the Orioles bite.
This would be a buy low, but a buy low that could be worth it in the long run. Jeimer Candelario has always had light-tower power and breakout potential, but hasn’t been able to consistently make hard contact until the shortened 2020. 2021 has been more of the same, but there’s still real potential here and he comes with team control through 2023.
Foolish? Maybe…but Josh Donaldson is probably available. He hasn’t wowed since being with the Twins and some leg issues have kept him off the field, but he’s a good defender and has WOWing offensive Statcast data. If word reached the Braves that Marcell Ozuna will go unpaid through the 2022 season, could the Braves take a chance on bringing rain again? Gosh…that would be pretty dadgum awesome.
Nope. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. Pass.
We’d all love to be talking about acquiring Ke’Bryan Hayes, but the Pirates aren’t going to be trading their only exciting player since Starling Marte. Move on. However, there’s a very underrated player in Colin Moran that could definitely be had. He’s not great against LHP, but hits RHP very well and that is a need for this team. He also plays a solid 3B, but has been moved to 1B to make room for Hayes.
Eugenio Suarez has royally sucked this year. That cannot be understated. What can’t also be understated is how royally stupid the Reds were to screw with their everyday 3rd baseman for the last 6 years by moving him to shortstop just because. I’m not in Suarez’s head, but if I were, I’d have probably been very confused. Grabbing Suarez would be a real gamble as he’s signed through 2024 with a club option. It could also be genius because if he hits…look out.
Sure…if you like, throw Mike Moustakas into this discussion. He’s owed $34MM over the next 2 years with an option for 2024.
Trevor Story plays shortstop. That much is certain. What else is certain is that he’ll be traded to someone at the deadline. In all likelihood, he’ll be sent to a team that needs a shortstop. However, the Braves don’t need one of those. Story is having a down year, but he’ll still hit and he’s a great fielder. I’d wager that he’d be just fine as a 3b for 1/2 a year. As always, the Rockies could use pitching and the Braves have that.
Eduardo Escobar will be a free agent in 2022. Asdrubal Cabrera will also be a free agent in 2022. Both are capable defenders and are solid offensively. They’d definitely help and I think they’ll definitely be traded.
Who ya Got?
When doing the research for OF and 3B bats that could be readily available, I found it quite shocking that it seemed easier pickings to grab a 3B. Who on this list intrigues you the most? For me, there are a lot of great options, but for nostalgia, I’d definitely love to bring Donaldson back. Let’s be real though… it’s a pipedream.
Thanks for reading “A 3rd Baseman? Unlikelyâ€¦but Maybe. If you enjoyed this piece, check out our first in this series, “Early Braves Outfield Trading Partners”.