Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Third Base Again

The Phillies have already added IF Abraham Nunez to give some depth to the bench and provide an alternative to David Bell at third base. The Phillies have also reportedly been deep into trade discussions with the Dodgers about sending David Bell to Los Angeles - any deal to LA is now dead of course because the Dodgers have filled their hole at third with Bill Mueller. This doesn't change the fact the Phillies were shopping Bell in the first place. What does it all mean then? Looks like the Phillies are serious about upgrading at third base. After Mueller signed, all Phillies trade rumors seemed to die down soon after. That lull could be over. The Toronto Blue Jays have added another 3B/1B/DH type to their roster and are now in a position to deal. The Jays currently have Troy Glaus (new addition who is expected to play 3B), Shea Hillenbrand (the Jays have said he won’t be moved), Corey Koskie, and Eric Hinske. Glaus will be a Blue Jay in 2006 and all published reports seem to believe Hillenbrand will be back as well. That leaves Koskie and Hinske as prime candidates to be moved.

Cordel Leonard Koskie is currently the better baseball player. He is both the superior hitter and fielder. There is a catch of course. Koskie will be 33 in June and has a contract that will pay out $5.25 million in 2006 and $5.75 million in 2007. There is also a vesting option for 2008 worth $6.5 million. That could be a very cumbersome deal for the Phils to take on especially considering the potential long term effects of the nagging injuries that limited Koskie to only 354 at bats last season. Eric Hinske is owed $4.325 million in 2006 and $5.625 in 2007. That is a ton of money for a guy who struck out 121 times in 2005 without the power production (only 15 homers) to make it forgivable.

Both players are lefties, both players are big strapping lads (Koskie is 6’3’’ and Hinske is 6’2’’), and both players are from cold weather, northern areas (Koskie is from Manitoba and Hinske is from Wisconsin). Neither player would be an especially good fit for the Philadelphia Phillies due to salaries not in line with expected future production. The Phillies would be wise to at least talk to Toronto because a deal for a third baseman like Koskie would help in 2006, but in the end I hope Pat Gillick considers the long-term ramifications that come with any move he makes.


Anonymous Braveswin said...

As I posted before, somehow the Phillies have to get rid of Bell. I'm not a fan Hillenbrand, and I remember Koskie at Minn. but nothing really more than that. Do the Phillies have anyone down on the farm that could suit up for 3rd in a couple of years?

O.T. I posted a piece on my blog about the World Baseball Classic. I wanted to see what your thoughts were.

2:43 PM  
Blogger XXX said...

The future at third looks bleak for the Phils - their first pick in 2005 was a third baseman and he might very well rank at the top of the organizational depth chart, but he is still years away and not even a lock to remain at the position.

Really good stuff on the WBC, I've been meaning to get into that further here myself.

11:26 PM  

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