The Philadelphia Phillies desperately need a third baseman for the 2013 season, and David Wright won’t be the guy.
The New York Mets have said they are picking up his $16 million option for next year, which means Wright won’t become a free agent until after ’13. TheMets have also said they are prepared to offer Wright a contract in the range of $100 million-plus to keep him in New York for the prime of his career.
The Phillies have had Placido Polanco for the last three years but his deal with the team just expired and there’s no way GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. will pick up a $5.5 million option for an aging third baseman who hit .257 with no power while serving two separate stints on the disabled list.
Polanco still plays phenomenal defense at the hot corner and if the Phillies could work out a deal to bring him back for a cheap $2 million option at one year as a defensive replacement, I’m fine with that. But I don’t want him starting. The Phillies rank dead-last in the major leagues in home runs (30) by their third baseman since 2010 and they don’t really have anyone waiting in the minors that can take over by next season.
Kevin Frandsen filled in remarkably in extended action this season but the Phillies are kidding themselves if they think a 30-year old career Quad-A player can possibly maintain the level of play at which he performed in 2012. If Frandsen could even hit .280 with decent power, it would be a blessing, but I think he would be a .250 hitter much like Polanco but without the great glove.
So as of now, the Phillies will have to look into an aging veteran option like Kevin Youkilis or Scott Rolen (ha), a trade candidate like Will Middlebrooks, or an in-house option like Chase Utley or Freddy Galvis.