Friday, November 19, 2010

Objects in Mirror May Be Closer: the A.L. Central

You remember how we found a bunch of minors league third basemen in the Eastern Divisions?

Yeah, that's not gonna happen here.

There are a variety of reasons for this: some guys that started in the minors already arrived.  Some guys are pretty much untouchable.  Some systems are laughably void.  But the fact is, if you want to find a third baseman from another team in the A.L. Central, you're better off just opening up the major-league rosters.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beating the Bushes in the N.L. East

You know where they have some good entrenched third basemen?  The N.L. East.

Consider this: for whatever abuse he takes for being "non-clutch" or "too tight" or "looking like the Great Gazoo," David Wright is a very good third baseman who is likely to be a very good third baseman for the New York Mets for a very long time.  He is not going anywhere.  And down I-95 from there, Ryan Zimmerman is in some ways and even better third baseman who is even more likely to be in Washington for a very long time.  Chipper Jones is an icon in Atlanta, but he is not as mobile now that his legs have fallen off.  Philadelphia has Potato Head and Wilson Valdez, and Florida ... well, let's face it: it's kind of hard to tell what Florida is doing at any given time.  Suffice it to say that if you're looking for an inexpensive player, he's likely to be hoarded with clawlike covetousness in South Florida.

So surely there are some hidden gems and blocked prospects (or even veterans!) lying around the Division, right?

Well ...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Beating the Bushes in the A.L. East

This was supposed to be pretty straightforward.

The original idea was pretty simple: identify a team with a long-term solution at third base and see if they have someone "buried" in the minors (or on the bench) who could be targeted as a worthwhile acquisition.  For example, Tampa Bay is pretty set at third base for a while with Evan Longoria.  We are not going to trade for Evan Longoria.  Tampa is not going to replace Evan Longoria with a minor-leaguer any time soon.  Of course, they have to have SOMEONE in case Longoria is seriously injured, but predictably, the "someones" Tampa has are not players I want the Indians to pursue.

In walking through the teams in the A.L. East, though, I hit any number of potholes, not the least of which is that is a horrific site to navigate.  The rosters don't come up fully.  It's hard to work organizationally.  Maybe I'm overlooking some simple navigational tools, but I found dealing with the site to be extremely frustrating.

Nevertheless, here's what a few hours of high-level digging found: