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2011 Offseason – Third Base Monday, November 22, 2010

Posted by jkcmason in Mariners.
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In 2010 Jose Lopez was the everyday 3rd baseman for the Mariners, and unfortunatley he had a rough season. After the trade rumors of the offseason, the move to third base, and all of the talk about how he doesn’t fit as the typical Zduriencik player… he failed. To be honest I don’t blame the guy. At the age of 26 he hit 25 homeruns and knocked in 96 RBIs. What happens next? Dustin Ackley is drafted, signed and moved to 2B and Chone Figgins signed as a free agent to a long term contract and moved into his position. If I were Jose Lopez, I wouldn’t feel the most secure, and it might get to me a little. He did play pretty well defensively at 3rd base, but that wasn’t enough.

Does Jose Lopez deserve another shot? Yes, and he will likely get it… just not likely with the Mariners.

What I would do

As I stated in the second base portion, I wouldn’t move Chone Figgins over to third. At least not until Ackley is called up part way through the season. Figgins is a better defensive second baseman than he showed last year, and having a hole at third base is an opportunity to add an impact bat into the lineup. Having a hole at second base is a chance to find a backup infielder.  I hate the term “stop gap”. The idea of bringing a player in that will hold down second or third base until Dustin Ackley is ready annoys me. I like the idea of giving someone a chance that could actually turn into an impact player. We know that players like Nick Punto, David Eckstein, Jerry Hairston Jr., Felipe Lopez, and Christian Guzman are stop gaps.  They aren’t going to help the team when they step to the plate.

The Mariners should trade for Alex Gordon to play 3rd base for the beginning of the year. The worst case scenario is that he turns into a stop gap type of player or gets hurt. The best case scenario is that he turns into a legitimate middle of the lineup bat like the Mariners need. It wouldn’t take a lot of talent to pry him away from Kansas City and he would be a definate young upgrade to our lineup.

What I expect the Mariners to do

I expect the Mariners to start Chone Figgins at 3rd base next season, and to ignore everything that I have just written.

My Addition – Alex Gordon

Mariners likely third baseman – Chone Figgins

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