MLB Free Agency: Ranking Adrian Beltre and The 10 Best Third Basemen Available

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer ISeptember 29, 2010

MLB Free Agency: Ranking Adrian Beltre and The 10 Best Third Basemen Available

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 15:  Adrian Beltre #29 of the Boston Red Sox bats against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 15, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    With the 2010 regular season coming to a close and the playoff picture starting to become a little clearer every day, there are some teams that will focus on free agency and which players they are going to bring back or which players they could possibly land this offseason.

    One of those players that will hit the free agent market is third baseman Adrian Beltre, who seemed to reinvent himself this season as a member of the Boston Red Sox.

    Beltre has hit .325 with 28 home runs and 102 runs batted in, his best combined numbers since his 2004 season as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    Beltre isn't the only third baseman that will be on the market. Here are 10 of the top third basemen that will be looked at in free agency.

No. 10: Mike Lowell

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    NEW YORK - AUGUST 07:  Mike Lowell #25 of the Boston Red Sox hits an RBI double in the second-inning against the New York Yankees on August 7, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Lowell only played in 70 games this season hitting .225 with four home runs and had more strikeouts (33) than runs batted in (23).

    The Texas Rangers have been rumored to have been interested in him in the past, though nothing ever came of those rumors.

No. 9: Ty Wigginton

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    ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 27:  Brian Roberts #1 celebrates his run with Ty Wigginton #23 of  Baltimore Orioles for a 1-0 lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 27, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    While Ty Wigginton played in his highest number of games (150) since his second big-league season as a New York Met, he also had his second-highest strikeout total (115) since that same season when he struck out 124 times.

    In 2010 with the Baltimore Orioles, Wigginton has hit .254 with 22 home runs, and 76 RBI.

No. 8: Brandon Inge

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    ATLANTA - JUNE 25:  Brandon Inge #15 of the Detroit Tigers against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 25, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Brandon Inge isn't going to hit .300 and drive in 100 runs, but he'll at least be a little above average third baseman.

    He has hit .248 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI this season for Detroit. Defensively, Inge has a .977 fielding percentage, which is his highest since his .992 percentage in 2008.

No. 7: Juan Uribe

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    SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 14:  Juan Uribe #5 of the San Francisco Giants throws to first as Rafael Furcal #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers slides into second on a double play ball hit by Andre Ethier in the first inning during a Major League Baseball game a
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Juan Uribe has been a huge part of the San Francisco Giants' comeback in the National League's West Division.

    The Giants have come from six games back to leading the division over the San Diego Padres.

    Uribe is hitting .248 and tied his career-high with 23 home runs, a career-high 84 RBI, and has a .955 fielding percentage at third base, which is slightly down from .960 last season.

No. 6: Jorge Cantu

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    ST. PETERSBURG - AUGUST 17:  Infielder Jorge Cantu #8 of the Texas Rangers smiles against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on August 17, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Jorge Cantu looked to be a solid acquisition for the Texas Rangers when they made the move. Unfortunately for the Rangers, and Cantu, it hasn't quite worked out that way.

    After hitting .262 with 10 home runs and 54 RBI with the Marlins, it took Cantu 25 games as a Ranger to finally drive in his first run, breaking a franchise record for most games without an RBI.

No. 5: Jhonny Peralta

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    ST PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 17:  Infielder Jhonny Peralta #2 of the Cleveland Indians catches a line drive at third against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on May 17, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Through 91 games for the Indians, Jhonny Peralta was hitting .246 with seven home runs and 43 RBI.

    After being traded to the Tigers, Peralta has been even better. He's hitting .263 with eight home runs, and 37 RBI through 39 fewer games. He's also yet to make an error at third base for the Tigers through 60 innings.

    Peralta has a $7 million club option with a $250K buyout.

No. 4: Miguel Tejada

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21:  Miguel Tejada #10 of the San Diego Padres jumps away from the slide of Jamey Carroll #14 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to complete a double play during the first inning at Dodger Stadium on September 21, 2010 in Los Angeles,
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Miguel Tejada has enjoyed his time in San Diego, which could mean a return to the Padres next season.

    Since being traded from Baltimore to the Padres, Tejada is hitting .277 with eight home runs and 31 RBI through 54 games.

    While he hasn't played much at third base, he's been solid at shortstop for San Diego after replacing the struggling Everth Cabrera. Tejada has made just three errors in 452 innings at short for the Padres.

No. 3: Aramis Ramirez

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    ST. LOUIS - AUGUST 15: Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Chicago Cubs fields a ground ball against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on August 15, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cubs beat the Cardinals 9-7.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    While Aramis Ramirez isn't officially on the free-agent list, he very well could be if he decides not to pick up his $14.6 million player option after this season.

    It hasn't been the kind of season that Ramirez is used to having. Through 120 games he's hitting just .242 with 24 home runs, and 79 RBI. It's his worst batting average since he hit .234 in 2003 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Ramirez also has turned in his worst fielding percentage (.937) since posting a .939 fielding percentage in his very first season with the Cubs.

No. 2: Omar Infante

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    ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 09:  Omar Infante #4 of the Atlanta Braves against the St. Louis Cardinals at Turner Field on September 9, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Omar Infante is a third baseman that a lot of teams would drool over, but they may not get that chance. The Braves hold a $2.5 million club option, which they will certainly exercise when the time comes.

    After hitting .305 last year for Atlanta through 70 games, Infante has been that much better as a starter. He's hitting .326 with eight home runs and 45 RBI, on top of 148 hits this season.

No. 1: Adrian Beltre

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 14:  Adrian Beltre #29 of the Boston Red Sox follows the flight of a foul ball during the game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 14, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. The Red Sox won 9-6. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Get
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Adrian Beltre has certainly brought the Red Sox exactly what they were looking for this season. He's had the second-best season of his career, and has eclipsed the 100-RBI mark for just the second time in his career.

    What may need a little more work is his defense, holding a .957 fielding percentage, the lowest since a .958 fielding percentage in 2007 with Seattle, committing 19 errors at third base this season.


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