For many players, the thought of being non-tendered has to be a scary thought. However, for some like Garrett Atkins, being non-tendered will only lead to more opportunities. Even though Atkins will likely take a pay cut, as you will see, the market for Atkins is ripe with opportunity and teams that should be interested in signing the former Rockies third baseman.
So what teams should explore the possibility of signing Atkins? Let's take a look.
- Twins: Atkins would be a nice fit here because the Twins have no quality third baseman on the roster and Atkins would give the Twins lefty dominate lineup some much needed pop from the right side. His defense is a major downside, but the thought of having Atkins bat sixth or seventh behind Mauer-Morneau-Cuddyer-Kubel has to be pretty tempting.
- Cardinals: If Mark DeRosa leaves, then the Cardinals will be in search of a starting third baseman. St. Louis would be a great spot for Atkins to get an opportunity to play everyday and show everybody the type of hitter he really is. Also, being in the same lineup as Albert Pujols has to be a selling point. For the Cardinals, Atkins would be a low cost-high reward option if they choose to spend their resources elsewhere (Matt Holliday!)
- Orioles: The Orioles are yet another team that needs a third baseman. Atkins would instantly become one of the top right handed power hitters in the Orioles' lineup and give the O's more balance. If the Orioles are serious about bringing more talent on board, then Atkins would be a good option for them to explore.
- Giants: The Giants are looking for a power hitting corner infielder, which is exactly what Atkins can give them. Defense once again presents a problem here, but Atkins could provide the pop the Giants are looking for behind Pablo Sandoval.
- Mariners: The Mariners currently have holes at first base, third base (depending on where they play Chone Figgins), and are in need of a power hitter. However, given Atkins's struggles away from Coors throughout the years and his defensive struggles at third base, it's doubtful that Atkins is a guy that the Mariners would give a serious look at.
- Braves: If the Braves fail to pick up a first baseman or re-sign Adam LaRoche, then Atkins could become a quality low cost option for the Braves. At this point however, I'm sure Atkins is a last resort for the Braves.
- Mets: The Mets are looking for a right handed platoon partner for Daniel Murphy at first base and Atkins would seem to fit the bill. But then again, I'm sure Atkins wants to be a starter and the Mets cannot offer him that opportunity right now.
In the end, I expect the Twins, Orioles, and the Giants to be the favorites to land Atkins because they have the opportunity and money to offer him.
****What team do you think Atkins will sign with?****