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Hot Corner Hot Stove

Posted by Brian Michael, Mon, December 10, 2007 05:43 PM | Comments: 11
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How long has it been since the Phillies had a legitimate third baseman?  Most would say we only need to look as far back as 2002 before Ed Wade traded Scott Rolen for a bag of balls.  Does crazy Dave Hollins qualify?  Some would even go further back to the days Mike Schmidt was racking up the MVP awards.  Regardless of the answer, it is safe to say that a third baseman has been missing from this latest incarnation Phillies contenders.  For the most part, it hasn’t been much of a priority for the front office considering the MVP-quality players at the other three infield positions (Howard, Utley, Rollins).  The Phillies made due last season with a platoon of Abraham Nunez, Wes Helms, Greg Dobbs, and briefly Russell Branyan.  With Nunez and Branyan departing from the roster, the Phillies 3B depth chart now reads:  Greg Dobbs, Wes Helms, Eric Bruntlett.  At first glance, this is hardly the worst predicatment. 

Dobbs makes for a decent-enough starter who makes minimal mistakes while occasionaly chipping-in at the place.  Having Dobbs start means Wes Helms is available as a pinch hitter - although his defense makes him a liability in late innings.  So  even having Helms start games and Dobbs finish them wouldn’t be the worst of scenarios; though, it would help to have some stability at the position.  There has been talk this offseason about making a move to solidify that roster spot, but so far none of these potentials have become reality.

  • The Marlins proposed trading Scott Nestor to the Phils for Wes Helms, if the Phils paid $1.8MM of the $2.9MM owed to Helms. Gillick said no.
  • The idea that Scott Rolen could return is always a fun possibility.  There had been talk that the Dodgers might go after him, but the addition of Larry Bowa to the bench in Los Angeles might preclude any such deal – making a move to Philadelphia even more possible.  I wouldn’t bet on it though.
  • There was talk last week that Tad Iguchi might be interested in returning to the team and play third base, but contractually he wouldn’t be available until May 15.  Still, some have made a good case for allowing him to return to second base and moving Utley play third.  Intriguing.
  • The Tigers are looking to trade Brandon Inge and his high strikeout tally; but Jayson Stark claims both the Dodgers and Phillies have already said no.
  • Pedro Feliz declined arbitration with the Giants over the weekend, and thus remains one of the few a viable possibilities for the Phillies to acquire a third baseman.

So with all these players falling though, we must beg the question, should the Phillies keep shopping?  As noted, Dobbs can get the job done, and so can Helms to an extent.  So in the short-term I think the Phillies should stick with what they’ve got.  Down the road though they will need to address this roster void with a sustainable option.  At the AAA-level, the Phils have Brennan King who swings a decent bat but surely isn’t a franchise player.  The Phillies first round pick in 2005, Michael Costanzo, could have been that guy but the Phils gave him up in the Lidge deal.   Therefore putting this all together, it appears as if it will be a long time before the Phils have another big name at the hot corner.

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About Brian Michael

Brian Michael has written 1138 articles on Phillies Nation.

Brian is the CEO of Phillies Nation which he founded in July of 2004.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Chris.I

    It would be in the Phillies best interest to platoon Helms and Dobbs, instead of going after Inge, and Rollen. I’d definitly say I’d take Iguchi back before any open options at this point. It could be a possibility to see Utley starting a game at 3rd base if Iguchi re-signs. To be honest I think Rollins would make the best 3rd basemen over Utley and Iguchi, cause he’s somewhat used to the longer throws, and has a stronger arm. Never happen though.

     
  • Posts: 0 Nick

    Why not Melvin Mora? He’s on the tail end of his career but can hit for average, play a decent corner and excels at small-ball. A new team may breathe new life into the disgruntled Oriole.

    I’d love to see a package deal featuring Mora and Bedard. Maybe give up Burrell, Kendrik and Helms.

     
  • Posts: 0 Dan C.

    I’m not asking for an all-star/franchise player at 3rd, just a competent everyday starter. Any plan that involves Wes “Utter Disappointment” Helms should be found inexcusable.

     
  • Posts: 0 Sean P.

    yea definatly Dan, i don’t see any scenario where Wes Helms is allowed to play with the Phillies in ’08.

     
  • Posts: 0 Matt Kwasiborski

    Greg Dobbs was a fan favorite and hit in the clutch last year for us. I loved watching him swing the bat. However, if he were a true MLB starter at 3B, then there would be no need for a platoon with Helms!

    They paid way too much for Helms and he goes down as the worst acquistion in 2006. Nunez should have been re-signed (still could be) to be a defensive replacement. Bruntlett seems destined to take his place now.

    As for Rowand- has he even got an offer from anyone yet? He might be pricing himself out of the market. It looks like other clubs are watching the Japanese player, Fukudome and see where he winds up. Then the others will jump into the fray.

    I don’t mean this as an insult to Japanese baseball at all, but it amazes me that teams are willing to pay millions to an untested Major Leaguer first before someone who has proven their lot in the big leagues. What Japanese player has come over here and truly dominated besides Ichiro? Nomo was definitely serviceable and Matsui was great but only for a couple of years and now the Yanks are trying to trade him.

    I am hoping that Rowand will re-sign here even though he put his house up for sale.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chaniqwa

    I think that the phillies should bring back Sal Fasano and put him at third.

     
  • Posts: 0 Chris.I

    Guess we’ll have to scratch Iguchi off the list..Theres rumors that he signed a one year contract with the padres…Dammit

     
  • Posts: 0 Joe Jamison

    We’re going to have to platoon, although it isn’t that bad; no other team has the SS/2B offensive combo that we have, so it evens out.

    Iguchi signed with SD, and Utley tried third in the minors…it didn’t work out.

     
  • Posts: 580 Brian Michael

    Avatar of Brian Michael

    Rowand to the Giants, 5-years.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ed

    The only thing I would think of that would be worse than having “Wes Helms start at third base….” would be to have nobody there, and that might be just as good. At least it would take his pathetic bat out of the lineup. If I were Gillick, I would give anybody a million to take him off our hands. Surely there is a better alternative out there somewhere. I don’t like to platoon in the infield, but if we must do it at third, find somebody from the right side who is at least as good as Dobbs is from the left. Dobbs is no gem in the field either.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ted

    Ted

    This is great

     
 
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