Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. needs a third baseman for next season.
Amaro told the Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Gelb that he recently discussed how difficult the position is to fill with several of his fellow GMs. The Phillies have even considered the possibility of playing catcher Carlos Ruiz at third base for some games next season. It wouldn't be a permanent switch. The intention would be to give Ruiz's knees a rests while keeping his bat in the lineup.
However, just the fact that the Phillies have discussed such a possibility speaks to their desperation. Quality third basemen are not easy to find. Those teams that have one aren't very likely to trade him away. It's a treasured commodity around baseball.
Yet Amaro should have plenty of options for next season if he casts a wide net. The question is whether he'll pursue a long-term solution for third base during the offseason or perhaps look at a one-year, temporary stopgap at the position.
If Amaro wants to go big, he may want to wait one year and see if the New York Mets sign David Wright to a contract extension. If the Mets decide they can't give out that kind of contract, however, or if Wright decides he wants to play someplace else, the Phillies will surely be one of the teams ready to pounce.
Bringing in a placeholder will certainly be easier (and cheaper). But it seems increasingly apparent that Amaro is tired of worrying about third base and wants a reliable player who can man the position for multiple seasons.
Here are nine players that Amaro should have on his shopping list when he begins calling his colleagues around baseball after the season.