clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Deep Dive: Free Agent Third Basemen

Kris Bryant and Eduardo Escobar highlight this group of players available at the hot corner.

MLB: NLDS-Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
Kris Bryant, who also plays right field, posted an excellent year for the Cubs and Giants in 2021.
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of each position in the White Sox organization. Each position is made up of five parts:

  1. Depth in the Rookie Leagues (Dominican through Arizona)
  2. Depth in A-Ball (Kannapolis through Winston-Salem)
  3. Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham Charlotte)
  4. Under the Radar-type detail on a White Sox player
  5. Free-agent options

With Yoán Moncada likely to stay with the White Sox through at least 2025, the club likely won’t be looking at this list of free agent third basemen with the idea of a full-time starter.

However, with a vacancy at second base, the team may target a second baseman to be the replacement for last year’s triumvirate of Nick Madrigal, César Hernández and Leury García. Perhaps one of these guys also could fill in at third base? Or it may behoove the Sox to look at an experienced, versatile utilityman to replace García.

The top two players below are sure-fire starters, but a case could be sold for a backup role in the right situation for any of the guys after them. None of these third basemen received a qualifying offer this year, which means the White Sox wouldn’t forfeit a second-round selection if they sign any of them, including Bryant, who was traded at midseason from the Cubs to the Giants.

Below are the free-agent options whose primary position this year was third base.

(player age is as of April 1, 2022)


Kris Bryant
San Francisco Giants
2021 bWAR: 3.3
Slash/power: .265/.353/.481 with 32 2B, 25 HR, 73 RBIs, 62 walks and 10 SB
Age: 30
Other positions played: LF, RF, CF, SS

When healthy, Bryant is one of the best in the game. Aside from the battery, the only position he’s never played on the diamond is second base.

Eduardo Escobar
Milwaukee Brewers
2021 bWAR: 2.4
Slash/power: .253/.314/.472 with 26 2B, 28 HR, 90 RBIs and 48 walks
Age: 33
Other positions played: 2B, SS

Traded from the White Sox in 2012 for Francisco Liriano, Escobar has had more experience playing second base in his career. Lest you think this was a career year, he hit 35 homers in 2019 for the Diamondbacks.

Kyle Seager
Seattle Mariners
2021 bWAR: 2.0
Slash/power: .212/.285/.438 with 29 2B, 35 HR, 101 RBIs and 59 walks
Age: 34

Seager has played all 11 years of his MLB career with the Mariners, compiling a 36.9 bWAR.

Jonathan Villar
New York Mets
2021 bWAR: 1.7
Slash/power: .249/.322/.416 with 18 2B, 18 HR, 42 RBIs, 14 SB and 46 walks
Age: 30
Other positions played: SS, 2B

Villar hit .274 with 24 homers for the Orioles in 2019.

Matt Duffy
Chicago Cubs
2021 bWAR: 1.7
Slash/power: .287/.357/.381 with 12 2B, 5 HR, 30 RBIs, 8 SB and 25 walks
Age: 31
Other positions played: 2B, SS, LF, 1B

Duffy hit .295 with 12 homers and 77 RBIs for the Giants back in 2015.

Starlin Castro
Washington Nationals
2021 bWAR: 1.1
Slash/power: .280/.319/.412 with 20 2B, 3 HR, 38 RBIs and 26 walks
Age: 32
Other positions played: SS

Off-the-field issues have clouded Castro’s future. He has 1,722 career hits.

Charlie Culberson
Texas Rangers
2021 bWAR: 1.1
Slash/power: .243/.296/.381 with 15 2B, 5 HR, 22 RBIs, 7 SB and 17 walks
Age: 32
Other positions played: LF, 1B, 2B, SS, RF

Culberson was quite versatile in 2021, and hit 12 homers for the Braves in 2018.

Hanser Alberto
Kansas City Royals
2021 bWAR: 0.4
Slash/power: .270/.290/.402 with two homers and 24 RBIs
Age: 29
Other positions played: 2B, SS

Alberto hit .305 with 12 homers for the Orioles in 2019.

Asdrubal Cabrera
Cincinnati Reds
2021 bWAR: 0.4
Slash/power: .230/.313/.366 with 21 2B, 7 HR, 42 RBIs and 36 walks
Age: 36
Other positions played: 1B, SS

Cabrera hit 25 homers and had 92 RBIs for Cleveland way back in 2011.

Ehire Adrianza
Atlanta Braves
2021 bWAR: 0.3
Slash/power: .247/.327/.401 with 9 2B, 5 HR, 28 RBIs and 21 walks
Age: 32
Other positions played: RF, LF, 2B, SS, CF

Adrianza hit 23 doubles for the Twins in 2018.

Ronald Torreyes
Philadelphia Phillies
2021 bWAR: 0.2
Slash/power: .242/.286/.346 with 10 2B, 7 HR, 41 RBIs and 19 walks
Age: 29
Other positions played: SS, 2B, CF

Torreyes hit .292 in 336 plate appearances for the Yankees in 2017.

Eddy Alvarez
Miami Marlins
2021 bWAR: 0.2
Slash/power: .188/.297/.328 with 4 2B, 1 HR and 6 RBIs in 64 at-bats
Age: 32
Other positions played: 2B

This former White Sox farmhand was an Olympic silver medal speed skate winner in 2014, and member of the 2020 Olympic squad in baseball.

Brandon Drury
New York Mets
2021 bWAR: 0.1
Slash/power: .274/.307/.476 in 84 AB with 5 2B, 4 HR, 14 RBIs and 3 walks
Age: 29
Other positions played: RF, LF, 2B, 1B

Drury hit .282 with 16 homers for the Diamondbacks in 2016.

Brock Holt
Texas Rangers
2021 bWAR: 0.1
Slash/power: .209/.281/.298 with 13 2B, 2 HR, 23 RBIs, 5 SB and 23 walks
Age: 33

Holt hit .297 in 87 games for the Red Sox as recently as 2019.

Anderson Tejeda
Texas Rangers
2021 bWAR: -0.2
Slash/power: .063/.118/.063 in 16 AB
Age: 23
Other positions played: 2B

Could be worth a minor-league flyer due to his youth.

Jake Lamb
Toronto Blue Jays
2021 bWAR: -0.3
Slash/power: .194/.306/.368 with 7 HR, 19 RBIs and 22 walks
Age: 31
Other positions played: LF, RF, 1B

Lamb was released by both the White Sox and Blue Jays last year.

Ildemaro Vargas
Arizona Diamondbacks
2021 bWAR: -0.4
Slash/power: .156/.217/.221 with one double and six walks in 77 at-bats
Age: 30
Other positions played: 2B, SS, LF

Vargas played for the Cubs, Pirates and Diamondbacks in 2021.

Travis Shaw
Boston Red Sox
2021 bWAR: -0.6
Slash/power: .200/.286/.373 with 11 2B, 9 HR, 39 RBIs and 24 walks
Age: 31
Other positions played: 1B

Shaw hit .273 with 31 homers and 101 RBIs as recently as 2017.

Joe Panik
Miami Marlins
2021 bWAR: -1.5
Slash power: .208/.266/.284 with 9 2B, 3 HR, 18 RBIs and 17 walks
Age: 31
Other positions played: 2B, 1B

Panik hit .288 with 10 homers for the Giants in 2017.

Maikel Franco
Baltimore Orioles
2021 bWAR: -1.6
Slash/power: .210/.253/.355 with 22 2B, 11 HR, 47 RBIs and 20 walks
Age: 29
Other positions played: 1B

Franco hit 25 homers and 88 RBIs for the Phillies back in 2016.