Who’s on third? 21 comments

Jon Daniels was asked who was going to play third now for the Rangers and said it wouldn’t be Joey Gallo, nor were they planning on turning over the position full time to newly acquired Patrick Wisdom. He suggested he will make a one-year deal for a free agent.

Which leads to the question, who?

Here are the available free agent third basemen:

Manny Machado
Mike Moustakas
Chase Headley
Ryan Flaherty
Danny Valencia
Jose Reyes
Yangervis Solarte
Trevor Plouffe
Ryan Schimpf

Machado is out for a number of reasons. One, he’s not going to take a one-year deal. Two, the Rangers aren’t going to drop $300 million on him.

Moustakas would be the ideal choice but he signed a one-year deal last year when he couldn’t get anything else he liked (it was offered but he turned it down then got stuck signing back with the Royals for one year). It’s doubtful he would do that again. Maybe Daniels could get him for two years but that seems unlikely.

Jose Reyes is even too past his prime for Daniels. He would come with the price tag that would be appealing but you would get more production from the actual third base bag than you will from Reyes.

That leaves a few legitimate candidates: Chase Headley, Ryan Flaherty, Trevor Plouffe, or Ryan Schimpf.

Headley and Plouffe seem like the most likely choices by virtue of where they are in their careers. After a few moderately productive seasons with the Yankees, New York traded him to the Padres. Headley got off to a slow start in 2018, so San Diego released him. Headley would be trying to reclaim his career. Same with Plouffe.

Plouffe had a few productive years in Minnesota and since has been trying to re-establish himself. He has been with the bottom-feeding teams since. Oakland signed him in 2017 then released him. Tampa Bay then signed him, played him a bit, and released him. Then the Rangers picked him and invited him to spring training camp in 2018. He ask for and was granted his release so he could find a new team. Philadelphia signed him. He didn’t play much but long enough to hit a walk-off home run off Dodgers second baseman Kiki Hernandez, thus becoming the first player ever to hit a walk off homer off a position player posing as a pitcher. He ended up being released. If the Rangers liked him last year, they are probably still fond of him this year. Only now they are desperate enough to need him.

Flaherty is another third baseman who is trying to hang on, having been mostly unspectacular in Baltimore, than signing with the Braves for the 2018 season, then being released.

Schimpf, too, was released mid-2018. What makes him attractive to Daniels is his unusually high rate of striking out. He would be right at home in the Rangers lineup.

If I were a betting man, I would say Chase Headley will be the Rangers third baseman in 2019. The announcement will bring with it all the excitement of an XFL game.

  • Nathan Whitten

    Kevin, Thanks for hanging in there. I did not see yesterday’s article until about 5 this morning, but I responded to it and admire you for carrying on while bad things were going on. I know you don’t want to dwell on it, so I won’t.
    Would Headley be better than Profar? Obviously Profar is gone, so head up comparison is impossible. But, we have a pretty good read on Profar at 3B and it was not good.
    I was somewhat surprised when JD said that Gallo was not an option. Maybe it’s better to use his athletic ability in the OF, probably in CF. Maybe he becomes the next Mike Trout. He stops striking out, hits to left field when the pitch is outside, walks more, has an OPS (not sure what OBP + SP is) of over 1.000, and becomes a great CF. Heck, maybe he’s the next Mantle or Mays.
    Maybe Headley will be like Beltre in his prime. Any chances of either pipe dream happening?

    • dearmidol

      Really there aren’t great options other than Moustakas and Machado.

      • elkaba

        Beltre 2.0 🙂

    • JacobMcCandles

      You are right Headly can play….bplay….but I want to see Alfalfa play

  • Rowdy Yates

    Plouffe & Schimpf are no go’s. No legitimate MLB team needs anyone named Plouffe or Schimpf on the roster. Then again it could be a stretch calling the Rangers a “legitimate MLB team”.

    For me, Moustakas is the one guy on the list who might actually improve the Rangers significantly in all aspects of his game. So, give him a 3 yr deal JD. Suck it up and put out the $$ necessary. He’s getting long in the tooth but even if you only get 2 good yrs from him and have to eat yr 3 you’ve got the money. It would be nice if you at least tried to put a watchable team on the field the next few yrs.

    • Nathan Whitten

      You are like me in the respect that I think this team can be decent while rebuilding. I don’t want to trade Minor and I would love to see someone like Moustakas at 3B. They have the money and will not alienate as many fans. I see no need to lose 100 games. If these young players on the team are really good, they need to give them a chance to succeed. Keeping Minor and adding a good 3B will do that. So, your suggestion is a good one.

      • dearmidol

        I agree, no need to lose 100 games simply if you cannot win the division. Fans still want to go to a game hoping their team has a good chance to win it. I’d love to see them bring Moustakas here.

        • calntom

          I would like to see the Rangers sign another starter or two next off season. Save all the dough they can and spend it on pitching next winter. There could be a decent 3B available then at less cost, I don’t know.
          Be nice to move half that Choo money somewhere else this winter.

    • elkaba

      Good role model for the youngsters, too.

  • Tony Howell

    Who’s on third the 64,000 question. Not a lot of good options for 3rd base, nothing in the Minors coming up probably the weakest position in the Rangers minor league system. What this tells me is we got nothing in the Minors ready for the majors. If we had any outfielder even close then Gallo would be moving to 3rd.

  • grumpyderfsmagic8ball

    Stupid question. Why not IKF for a year?

    • Rowdy Yates

      Not ‘stupid’ IMO.

      I thought he did a good job in his limited appearances at 3B last year. Good range, strong accurate arm. So defensively I think he’s the best they have on the current roster. The problem is I don’t think he has a 3rd baseman’s bat, particularly in the power dept.

    • dearmidol

      Daniels also said IKF was not an option.

      • JacobMcCandles

        This appears to be another odd decision as it is stated we are looking for additional catching help. IMO Alfalfa deserves a spot…

    • elkaba

      He’s our main catcher.

  • elkaba

    Maybe Beltre changes his mind and comes out of retirement?

  • JacobMcCandles

    Give me help!!!! I can’t go a week in DFW without someone going into a convenience store and leaving there car running……STUPID

    • dearmidol

      Just asking for it to be stolen. I’d move it just to teach them a lesson.

      • JacobMcCandles