This entry is going to be a little short for the simple reason that there are only 3 FA 3rd basemen (besides Mo Ensberg and we won’t go there), Pedro Feliz, Mike Lamb and Mike Lowell. Well, there is, of course, A-Rod, but I promise you he wants to play for a big money team on the coast and he already did the Texas thing and he ain’t comin back no mo. Besides, his agent is Boras and that tells you all you need to know.
Tim Purpura and the Organization decided, for some reason I STILL don’t understand, to substitute Mike Lamb, who is one of the FA 3B, with Wigginton. I would be pretty darn surprised if they decided to DFA Wiggy and sign either Feliz or Lowell. I’ve already written plenty comparing Wiggy and Lamb, but let’s do it all again.
OK, starting with the basics – Lamb is 32, just finished a 2.7 mill 1 year contract and is a FA. Wiggy is 30, just finished his 4th year so is under team control for the next 2 years and also just finished a 1 year 2.7 mill contract – who knows what he will get over the next 2 years. I can’t understand why the Astros think that Lamb will get sooooo much more over the next 2 years. Anyway, they both have lead gloves: Lamb had a RF of 2.53 and a RF of .693 (MUCH worse than last year) and Wiggy had a RF of 2.80 and a ZR of .770 (lifetime 2.66 RF and .710 ZR at third.)
As for hitting, Lamb, a lefty who hits the ball pretty well to all fields, averaged .281/.349/.463/.831 during his 4 years in Houston, including his very down year of 2005. Lamb GIDP about 9 times an average year, walks about 40 times, Ks oround 60.
Wiggy, a righty dead pull hitter, better than†his lifetime stats .268/.327/.449/.776 in Houston – .284/.342/.462/.804 over 187 PA with 8 GIDP (which is Carlos Lee territory) and around 40 walks and 110 K a year average. Lamb has averaged around 350 ABs a year over the past 4 years as a PH and platoon guy and Wiggy has averaged around 420 AB a year over the past 4 years. Big deal.
Lamb this year hit lefties better than rightys – 1.056 OPS to .777 OPS, but lifetime, the difference is not particularly great – .748 OPS vs lefties and .770 vs rightys and that is accounted for almost entirely by BA, .268 vs leftys and .284 vs rightys – power numbers are almost exactly the same, as is the BB/K ratio. Not sure why he was platooned as the numbers really don’t justify it.
Wait – Phil was the manager – I get it. Nevermind.
Anyhow, Wiggy is really the guy who should be platooned – .935 OPS vs lefties and .741 vs rightys this year: and lifetime vs lefties, .280/.354/.494/.848 and lifetime vs rightys, .264/.317/.342/.749.
Pedro Feliz, age 32, is the best fielding 3rd baseman in the NL, and just finished his one year FA contract for 5.1 mill plus a few bonuses. He’s been the full time 3rd baseman for the Giants for the past 4 years because Edgardo Alfonso was basically constantly on the DL and he’s a great glove lousy bat kind of guy. His averages are .252./.288/.433/.751 with 20 GIDP a year with around 28 BB and 93 K. He averages 27 doubles and 20 homers. The Giants fans I know aren’t exactly crazy about this guy, but best I know, unless they sign expensive Mike Lowell, they don’t have an in house replacement for Feliz. Their farm is as empty of position players as ours.
Mike Lowell, age 34, is a GOOD third baseman with both stick and glove. He’s currently employed by the Red Sox and is in the last year of a 4 year 32 mill contract and is receiving 9 mill this year. Naturally, he’s having a career year this walk year and he’s going to get a big ol paycheck from SOMEbody, and I would bet it is going to be at least 10-12 mill a year for 3-4 years.
It will depend what happens with A-Rod, I would think. The Yanks nor the Sawks will really have an in house replacement (unless the Sawx move Youk back to third and get a 1B) and they may fight over him as he won’t get any 20-30 mill a year, as A-Rod thinks he will. I wouldn’t be real too surprised if the Dodgers and Angels go after him, too. His lifetime hitting stats – .280/.344/.468/828 and they are even better if you ignore his year from the Black Lagoon in 2005. Glove this year – RF of 2.51 (tops 2.90 – Mora) and ZR .778 (tops .803 – Inge) which shows that gloves in the AL are inferior to NL gloves. But we all knew that. I do expect that his stats will decline over the next 3-4 years, even if he comes back to the NL, and I am not sure he will be worth the 12 or so mill a year he is going to get. I don’t want to be stuck with a team of old slow fat guys who cost a fortune for the next 3-4 years.
And that, my friends, is that. We could also trade for Bill Hall (see the second base discussion) and play him at third – he’s got a MUCH better glove than any AL guy at third. I am more than happy to entertain any thoughts on trades anyone has – only they can’t be something like Miggy Cabrera for Chris Burke, OK???!!! Gotta be realistic.
And speaking of Miguel Cabrera, all I can say is – look, fantasy baseball is FANTASY, OK??? Fantasy means make believe. It’s not that Miggy couldn’t be traded for, it is that his team is owned by Jeffrey Loria, who makes Calvin Griffiths look positively benificent. Loria wouldn’t trade Miggy unless he received top notch talent in return who would be dirt cheap for years, say, Hunter Pence. Miggy has let his conditioning lapse completely and he makes Mike Lamb look like Scott Rolen at third. Miggy is headed for first or DH in the very near future. Yes I know he can hit, but this is the NL and Thank Gawd there is no DH, and also, we already have a guy who is set at first for the next 4 years who has a COMPLETE no trade and has made it more than clear that he will refuse any trade and he isn’t kidding.
Miggy just finished his 4th year and won a 7.4 mill salary in his FIRST arb year and you bet that if Drayton thought Mike Lamb would be too expensive at 3 mill a year, he’d pass out at Miggy’s salary for the next few years. I am well aware that Miggy has had a .968 OPS over the past 3 years, grounds into around 20 DP a year, walks about 75 times and Ks around 105. His glove is simply awful – he was saved from the basement only by Ryan Braun – RF of 2.51 (high of 3.27, Abraham Nunez) and a ZR of .714 (high of .859 by Feliz) and he has steadily worsened each year as he has become more and more obese.