Third Base Options

Friday, October 29 2021 @ 12:13 PM EDT

Contributed by: John Northey

So, given we know the Jays have had issues at Third Base this year (to put it nicely) what are the options for an upgrade?

Using FanGraphs (easy sorting for players at a position) there were 19 guys who played at 3B who qualified for the batting title.  I think it is safe to say the Jays will be looking for an everyday player and not a platoon or injury prone guy or someone who needs lots of DH time (100+ games at 3B to be lisited here). Lets look at the 11 who had 3+ fWAR (thus guys worth more than one would expect from Espinal or Biggio both of whom I figure would be adequate at 3B everyday - in the 2 range for WAR).
So what is the cost?  Escobar & Bryant are free agents without compensation (Bryant traded mid-season, Escobar would probably take the QO), Donaldson would be a low level prospect at best (Minny trying to cut payroll I suspect),  The A's are also in cost cutting mode so Chapman would be cheaper than he should be.  Or you go for the gold standard and spend a TON of prospect capital to get Ramirez.  My bet right now is Chapman or Donaldson if Bryant won't sign at a reasonable price.  Or the good ol' internal options

Internal Options...
I expect Biggio/Espinal to share either 3B or 2B and Smith/Lopez/Groshans to fight it out for 3B if no trades/free agent signed.  We'll see.

Of course, there is always the option of signing one of the big free agent shortstops and putting them at 3B or 2B ala Semien last year.  But that is a bit too much speculation for now - wait until February for that.  If any of those guys are still hanging around the Jays might then grab one again.  Guys like Trevor Story (73 games at 3B in minors, 29 at 2B), Corey Seager (6 games at 3B in majors, 20 in minors), Carlos Correa (never a game anywhere but SS), and others.  I see Story as the most likely to not find an adequate contract due to his 'meh' year this year (103 OPS+) and the Colorado factor.