The Philadelphia Phillies agreed to a new deal with third baseman Kevin Frandsen, avoiding arbitration in the process. The contract will pay Frandsen $850,000 and will keep him in Philadelphia for the 2013 season.
Frandsen is a 30-year old career utility infielder in the major leagues who broke out when given the chance to play regularly in ’12. Frandsen batted .338 in 195 at-bats, taking the starting job from veteran third baseman Placido Polanco, who struggled to stay healthy.
Frandsen is solid defensively as well and if he has a strong spring training, he could possibly win the starting job or at least earn a regular platoon spot. The Phillies are also working out Freddy Galvis at third base and the team may decide a platoon of Frandsen and Galvis is the best option from a financial standpoint.
The Phillies have yet to make an offer to a free agent third baseman, and the options out there are limited. Alex Rodriguez isn’t leaving New York. David Wright re-signed with the New York Mets. Scott Rolen and Chipper Jones retired. Kevin Youkilis is really the only solid free agent that could fill in at third base, but the Phillies haven’t reached out to him yet.
Frandsen is a career .267 hitter over parts of six major league seasons, so it’s doubtful he will be able to sustain production on a regular basis in 2013. He has little power and his .686 lifetime OPS suggests he should be a backup in 2013.