What a difference a retirement makes. For the previous eight seasons the Rangers had the top third basemen in baseball. In a position heavy on offense and thick with talent, Texas had the best in Adrian Beltre.
Then he had to go and get old.
Replacing Beltre was always going to be impossible. The Rangers had no idea they would leave a Grand Canyon sized hole at the hot corner.
Thye signed Asdrubal Cabrera for the thankless task of standing where Beltre stood. It ended up being a revolving door. Cabrera and Kiner-Falefa and Santana and Forsythe and Solak When it was all said and done, the Rangers couldn’t hold their own at third compared to the other teams in the A.L. West. This is a division with M.V.P. candidate Alex Bregman in Houston and nearly his equal Matt Chapman in Oakland. Compartively, they are on Mount Everest looking down at the Rangers in base camp. That’s how far down the talent gap between the elites and Texas is.
The Rangers have two highly touted third basemen in the system. The system has produced a lot of highly touted prospects. And very few that actually make an impact once they arrive. They can try to plug in Solak or Santana there. They can try to upgrade on the free agent market. Or they can wallow in the muck with Kiner-Falefa there once again. Either way, third base is a real weakness that has to be addressed eventually.
Here are the available free-agent third basemen: