With Josh Donaldson heading to Free Agency, the Braves could very well have an opening at 3B. With the Braves heavily relying on platoons in the OF, there’s a need to also add there. Some of the guys listed are an absolute no for me, and then there are guys that could work if used properly, like Matt Joyce and Adam Duvall of 2019. Let’s look at the list and choose our dudes in the comments.
Starting Third Base Candidates
Josh Donaldson (34)- Let’s be real…he’s numero uno on this entire list. Braves need his production, but maybe just as important, they need his mentality in 2020. He’s absolutely fearless and the Braves, with the way 2019 ended, need a player to ignite the fire in the entire team. I fear though that some team will give him 4 years and I don’t think the Braves will go there.
Todd Frazier (34)- No…I don’t want this. However, if the Braves go hard after an OFer or a SP, they might want a little added security (and pop) from a fill-in and the Toddfather could provide that.
Pablo Sandoval (33)- For some reason, Sandoval is only good when he plays in San Fran, but he’s shown that he’s capable of hitting baseballs. Gosh…I don’t want him at all.
Mike Moustakas (31)- Everyone wants Donaldson back, and rightfully so, but the Braves could do worse than putting Moose at the hot corner for 2 years and watching him mash. I’m coming around to Moose if Braves get outbid in years for Donaldson.
Howie Kendrick (36)- Kendrick had a remarkable 2019 with an eye-popping 45.5% hard hit rate. He can log innings all around the infield and proved that he can still swing it. BABIP has a pattern of being consistently high and that’s a good thing.
Corey Dickerson (31)- Matt Joyce leaves the Pirates at the end of 2016 and it only took until 2018 to clone him and change his name to Corey Dickerson. These guys that are below average corner OFers defensively, but can still mash and are getting cheaper by the year and if the Braves can’t re-up Joyce, Dickerson would be nice.
Brett Gardner (36)- Put up good numbers in 2019 including a career high in HR and SLG. Feels like there should be some sort of warning label attached here.
Alex Gordon (36)- I wanted Gordon desperately (not…sexually) 3 years back and I’m glad GMs are smarter than me because he fell off a cliff. Started off hot in 2019, ended dreadfully. He is to the Royals what Nick Markakis is to the Braves…the good and the bad.
Marcell Ozuna (29)- I don’t want to talk about Ozuna…but for this piece, I will. Let’s start out by saying this: He is not that good. Truly. He’s been slightly above average (or even below) every single year of his career…except one. He’ll be 29 in a few days. Someone is going to pay him for what they think he is, not what he has been, and I hope it isn’t the Braves.
Gerardo Parra (33)- Has been a good role player for years, but legs are going which means the defense is going as well.
Hunter Pence (37)- This would be the kind of pickup that would TERRIFY me. Hasn’t had an OPS over .900 ever and has been, on average, a .760ish OPS guy for the last 7 years, then he goes to a hitters park with a juiced ball and BOOM! Career rejuvenated. Nope. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.
Jarrod Dyson (35)- If Braves go with defensive replacement/pinch runner for their 26th man, I’d take Dyson at 2MM.
Cameron Maybin (33)- Maybe? For me, Maybin not. His 2019 feels a whole lot like Pence’s 2019. I like Maybin, but I don’t trust him in the field anymore and his bat just isn’t there from year to year.
Nicholas Castellanos (28)- Castellanos gets a lot of crap about his defense, and it’s true, it’s bad. But let’s cut the guy some slack. This is only his 2nd full year in an MLB OF after playing 3B for 4 with Detroit. His DRS in 2018 in the OF? -19. 2019? -9. If the pattern continues, he’ll be Mookie Betts before you know it. Seriously though…give the guy some credit on improving. I’d like to see him move to LF next year, but not sure if I want that place to be Atlanta.
Avisail Garcia (29)- Bounced back from a bad 2018 and actually played some pretty decent OF defense in 2019. Still only 28 and can likely be had for 7-8MM.
Yasiel Puig (29)- Puig was destined to come with a QO, but won’t now as he was traded midseason. Like Ozuna, Puig has seemingly lived off of 1 spectacular year, then has been pretty okay ever since (.808 OPS since 2014). Some TV analysts still boast about his defense even though he’s had 1 year of good defense.
Matt Joyce– (35) I like him and I’d totally take him back.
Edit: Kole Calhoun- I forgot Calhoun because of his option. Had a pretty good 2019, hitting a lot of dingers but still managed to keep his OPS under .800 which tells a bit about his on-base skills. Truth be told, he’s a more expensive Matt Joyce…or maybe he isn’t anymore.