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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

11/5/21 : Off Season Considerations - Part Five

Fifth in a series of articles on Phillies off-season potential actions. If you missed part one on Outfielders here’s a link … - outfielders

Third Base :

While a gold glove isn’t required routine plays must be made … also an offensive presence is needed for this position.

Internal :

No one will outwork Alec Bohm … he’s a persistent and diligent person who ever since he’s signed has come to Clearwater early each season to put in work both offensively and defensively. This year is no different as he’s put in time with new hitting coach Kevin Long working on balance, pitch recognition and clearing the hips to enable turning on inside deliveries with authority. Defensively footwork and first step reaction has always been the area to improve, returning infield instructor Bobby Dickerson has very specific drills to maximize abilities in each area as well as getting quicker on glove to throwing hand transfers and a consistent release point on throws. We’ve watched backfield practices for a long while, repetition,repetition, repetition is the drill. Alec will come into spring training with winning the opening day job in mind.

Ronald Torreyes is a viable backup for all the infield positions and Matt Vierling, Luke Williams and Nick Maton can all play third base in stints. Jean Segura has experience at third base and Didi Gregorius might get reps there this spring. Dalton Guthrie and Madison Stokes are current minor league players who should see some Grapefruit League action at the hot corner.

Free Agents :

Kyle Seager ( Mariners ) is projected to make $18.9 million per year on on three year contract. The 34 year old hit 35 home runs and drove in 101 runs in 2021 in 630 AB’s but only posted a .212 average and .285 OBP. He’s a very good defensive third baseman and is a past gold glove winner. It’s just not likely the Phillies would invest the asking price.

Kris Bryant ( Giants ) … we mentioned Bryant as an outfielder in part one of the series but third base is also an option for the very versatile fielder. He’s no gold glover at the hot corner by any means but has shown he’s more than capable of playing the position. As I said in the outfield review I believe there’s a mutual interest … at $24 million for six years as the projection the question remains whether there’s room to get that done.

Eduardo Escobar ( Brewers ) is projected to earn $10 million per year on a three year deal. The 32 year old hit .253 in 549 AB’s with 28 home runs and 90 RBIs in 2021. He’s a switch hitter. He’s an above average fielder and can play multiple positions ( all four infield spots ). Defensive versatility is a good thing.

Trade :

Matt Chapman ( A’s ) is projected to make $9.5 million in 2022 which will be his final season of arbitration, he becomes a free agent in 2023. 27 homers and 72 RBIs in 2021 hitting .210 in 529 AB’s … a down year for him. He’s a gold glover defensively … at 28 years old the right handed hitter will be highly talked about in trade discussions.

Josh Donaldson ( Twins ) is due to make $21 million per season for the next two years with a $16 million club option ( $8 million buyout ) in 2024. The 35 year old hit 26 home runs, drove in 72 and posted a .247 batting average in 457 AB’s in 2021. He’s still a very good fielder at third base. It seems the Twins are very receptive to move him but would seemingly need to send a great deal of cash along in any transaction as the contract is well overpriced at this point.

Joey Wendle ( Rays ) is projected to earn $4 million in arbitration, he becomes a free agent in 2024. The Rays are notable for moving players in trade even those who are team leaders like Wendle. They have cheaper options within their system that are pushing for big league positions. The 31 year old hit 11 home runs, drove in 54 and posted a .254 batting average in 460 AB’s in 2021. He played primarily 3B ( 82 starts ) but can also play 2B and SS as well as the outfield. He’s also from Chester County and played college ball at West Chester University. A very versatile player who’s steady, has been a lineup regular and knows how to win. Ticks off a lot of boxes in regards to Phillies needs.

Starting Pitchers will be part six of the series.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

photo by Cheryl Pursell

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