Alex Rodriguez suspension: Free agent third base options for the Yankees

Scott Halleran

The Yankees black hole at third base is now official. What's available to the team via free agency?

Now that Alex Rodriguez is formally suspended the Yankees can move on and acquire a fancy new third baseman for the 2014 season. Then again, there is the problem of the third baseman free agency market being drier than the face of the moon. Unless you're longing for reunion with scrub turned Yankee-killer Chris Nelson, the pickings are incredibly slim. Nevertheless, I have cobbled together the kind of not awful options that are still available to the Yankees via free agency.

Mark Reynolds

2013: 0.4 fWAR, 96 wRC+

The incumbent. After what could only be described as a hellish tenure with the Cleveland Indians, Reynolds was picked up by the Yankees and served as an actually decent infield injury replacement (105 wRC+ w/NYY). However, while a downright respectable first baseman, Reynolds is a bit of a butcher at third. Maybe another year at the hot corner will result in some improvement, but his value will always be in his prodigious power

Michael Young

2013: -0.2 fWAR, 102 wRC+

To the chagrin of most of us, Young has been linked to the Yankees almost all offseason. The former All-Star seems like he still has some life left in his bat, but if Mark Reynolds is a butcher at third, Young is the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. Also, for a player so dependent on average for his value (6.7% career BB rate), even more regression at his age (37) is highly likely.

Stephen Drew

2013: 3.4 fWAR, 109 wRC+

Ah, the wild card in all this. Drew is a shortstop through and through, but he has not had very many suitors during free agency. At the right price, it wouldn't be absurd for Drew to take up third base (or second) for the Yankees. And frankly, he's really the only infielder left on the market that is assuredly a major league- caliber player at this point. It would likely be a costly signing, however. But thanks to the newly freed A-Rod money, maybe it's not such a big hinderance.

The pickings are incredibly slim. It was a pretty terrible market for third baseman to begin with, and now it's January. It will take a lot of maneuvering for third base to not be a weakness in A-Rod's absence, so I do not envy the Yankees' front office right now. We can only hope Eduardo Nunez is not their answer to this current problem.

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