Wanted: A Philadelphia Third Baseman

Seth GarberContributor INovember 11, 2009

Monday November 9th, 2009, The Phillies declined Pedro Feliz's $5.5 million option for 2010.  Amaro claims "this doesn't preclude [them] from bringing Pedro back next season."*  He was an amazing defensive player; possibly Gold Glove material.  That's not what Amaro feels will help them win the 2010 World Series.  

Pedro's offensive numbers have been slacking.  He hit .266 with 12 home runs and 82 RBI* this season.  He hit 26 home runs in the two seasons he has been here.  He hit 22 in his last season with the Giants.  Change is in the air.  I don't know about you, but when I heard that Pedro wasn't coming back, I got slightly giddy.  I think it was the prospect of change and a new player who could soon be in out midst.  

There are three obvious choices to replace him: Adrian Beltre, Chone Figgins, and Mark DeRosa.  Figgins is Victorino-fast and hits consistently for average.  He is a career .291 hitter.  He hit .330 in 115 games in 2007 and .298 in 158 game this past season.  He does not have much power, but he scored 114 runs and had 42 stolen bases last season.  He does not have a high number of home runs or RBI (5 and 54 last season respectively), so that would be the downfall of signing him.  Also, he could command a giant contract that the Phillies might not be able to afford.  

Mark DeRosa is another good choice to play third base.  His stats are similar to Pedro's stats except for a few columns. DeRosa hit 23 home runs last season and had a .433 slugging percentage and had a slightly higher on-base percentage at .319.  

The last choice is Adrian Beltre.  He is a slight risk because he is injury-prone.  He played 111 games last season and still had a .379 slugging percentage and a .304 on-base percentage.  .304 is lower than Pedro's but that's with 50 games less than Pedro's.  Beltre's past statistics are impressive.  In the past seven seasons, from 2003-2009, he hit 23, 48, 19, 25, 26, 25, 8 home runs.  As this shows, he can have power when he's healthy.  From 2003 to 2009 his slugging percentage is in the four hundreds except for  2004 it was .629 and in 2009 it was .379.  He has some insane power.  

There are other players out there as well such as Aubrey Huff or Felipe Lopez.  Huff has great power numbers and on-base percentage.  Lopez has great on-base percentage and slugging percentage, just not a lot of power.  How about Joe Crede?  As you can see, there are many good choices out there.  I'm looking forward to November 20th.  It is circled on my calendar.  It's the day Free Agent signing begins.  It's the first day of an exciting off-season process in a great sport.

 

*Courtesy of Todd Zolecki's MLB.com article

**All other stats courtesy of MLB.com

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