Who will be the Phillies next third baseman?
At this point, all the Phillies fanbase can do is speculate.
A trade? A free agent signing? Or could the solution be solved in-house?
Kevin Frandsen came out of nowhere this season to become one of the biggest surprises in an otherwise dismal 2012 Phillies season.
In 195 at-bats—approximately one-third of a regular season—Frandsen batted a team high .338 with an OPS of .834.
Frandsen does not possess the power the Phillies would like out of a third baseman, but if they cannot make a big splash in free agency, the Phillies could give Frandsen a chance to be an everyday player.
Another upside to playing Frandsen is that he will come cheap. Much cheaper than any free agent signing or acquisition by trade. This would free up money to sign a quality outfielder and make serious changes to that Phillies' bullpen.
Kevin Youkilis has been a name tossed around Philadelphia. He will turn 34 in March and made $12 million in 2012. You can expect Youkilis to look for a two to three year deal at around eight or nine million per season.
Youkilis finished the season batting .235 with 19 home runs and 60 RBI. Not terrible, by any means, but do the Phillies really need another player hitting below .250, who strikes out more than 100 times in a season?
When you would have to overpay for mediocre numbers, acquiring Youkilis doesn't seem like the best fit with the current Phillies lineup.
Chase Headley may be available via a trade. He's one of the best third baseman in the game, coming off a great all-around season—.286 average, 31 home runs, 31 doubles, and 115 RBI.
He also stole 17 bases and played in 161 of 162 games this season. The Padres will have to be blown away by an offer the Phillies make to even consider moving him.
It is doubtful that GM Ruben Amaro will clear the farm system again. Acquiring Headley seems more like a pipe dream of Headley wearing Phillies pinstripes next season.
The Phillies also have two third baseman in the minor leagues that are both a year or two away from contributing at the major league level.
Cody Asche hit .300 with 10 home runs in a half season at Double-A.
Maikel Franco batted .280 with 14 home runs and 84 RBI in Single-A Lakewood.
It will be an interesting off season for the Phillies, but by next spring don't be surprised if Kevin Frandsen gets a chance to start for the Philadelphia Phillies.
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