In an effort to help you sniff out third base options should you still be waiting for David Freese to find his contacts, Jeff Keppinger to draw a walk, or Placido Polanco to do… anything — I’ve got a few ideas for you. They may not be good ideas, but they are ideas nonetheless, and third base has kind of necessitated the use of hairbrained thinking.
You might have already noticed this because it happened weeks ago, but Jose Bautista has three appearances at third base. Eligibility rules vary, but in Yahoo and Ottoneu formats, he only needs three more starts to qualify at third. In ESPN, he will need seven additional appearances.
Now, in no way am I wishing any kind of harm to befall
Edwin Encarnacion Brett Lawrie, but it still remains among the realm of the possible that Bautista could have eligibility by the All Star Break. Perhaps not likely, but it’s possible. If you’re getting killed at third base, now might be the time to float an offer for Bautista while his batting average still looks awful. His BABIP is sitting in the low 200’s and his career rate is .270, so while he might not hit .302 again, it should be headed upwards. His power has been as advertised, so it’s not like he’ll come cheaply, but should you have the talent to pull off a deal and a need at 3B, he’s kind of an interesting possibility.
It seems ridiculous that this is news, but Alex Rodriguez is working out. A-Rod has (reportedly) hit the gym on consecutive days in Tampa and it’s possible that he could play this season. It’s even possible that he appears sometime just after the All-Star break. And then again, it’s possible he never plays organized baseball again.
There are land mines all over this idea, in part because of the uncertainty of when he’ll return, but also because even if he returns, he might not be very good. You no doubt recall how awful he was in the playoffs, spending more time flirting with onlookers than flirting with greatness. But on the whole, his 2012 was still useful in fantasy respects. A .272 batting average with 18 home runs and 74 runs scored is probably something Jayson Nix would sign his name in blood over. It’s hard to know if, and for how long, A-Rod played with a bum hip but he nonetheless produced at a decent enough clip last year.
The upside to the Rodriguez thing is the fact that he’ll cost you either next to or absolutely nothing. He’s owned in 3% of ESPN leagues and 15% of Yahoo leagues. At auction, he almost certainly would command no more than eight bits. If you have sworn out loud about your third base options, as I have, and if you have any maneuverability within your roster — maybe, just maybe this isn’t a completely terrible idea.
He’s no Panda, but you might have also noticed that Russell Martin has three appearances at third base this season and he’s knocking on the door of catcher/third base eligibility. You might have also noticed that after a particularly dreadful start to the season, Martin is hitting .377/.457/.770 with six HR and 10 RBI over the last 17 games. And it’s not all fueled by BABIP, in case you’re wondering. His BABIP over that period of time is .354, and it stands at .253 on the season. His contact rate is at a career high 86.3% and he’s practically cut in half his swinging strike rate at just 4.9%.
This is Russell Martin we’re talking about, the same guy that hit .211 last season — but he also hit 21 home runs and he appears hell bent on matching that total again this year. If you can stomach a .250 batting average, you might just have a bargain basement Mike Moustakas doppelganger. There’s no guarantee he’ll pick up the necessary games played at third base, but Pittsburgh likes Michael McKenry‘s bat enough to want to get him into the lineup occasionally and they want to try and preserve Martin’s body as much as possible. That should add up to third base eligibility in short order, and that might make his versatility a real asset.
Print This Post