© 2009 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
07/22/09 2:23 PM ET
On the block: Corner infielders
By / MLB.com
Why he's available: He's in the final year of a contract that will pay him roughly $14 million, and the Astros likely won't have interest in the 35-year-old beyond this season. Will he go? If the Astros are well out of the race at the Trade Deadline, they won't be shy about shopping him if they can land a few prospects in return. Where might he go? He's not a power threat anymore and has lost some range, but he's still a solid hitter who could fill the need at designated hitter for an American League team.
Why he's available: The Rockies have recently committed to Ian Stewart at third base. Will he go? His season-long slump has hurt his value, but he improved in June. Where might he go? The Mets are among the teams looking, but he best place for Atkins may be the American League. When right, he is a run-producing right-handed bat who could benefit from being a designated hitter.
Why he's available: With a $3.5 million salary, Cantu is the third-highest paid player on the team. Also, he has value, because he's regarded as a professional hitter and clubhouse presence. Will he go? Very unlikely that he will be moved, especially if the Marlins are in the race. Where might he go? The Giants made inquires in the offseason.
Why he's available: Johnson is in the last year of his contract, and the Nationals want to get top prospects in return. Will he go? It depends on his health. He is known for missing long stretches because of injuries. Where might he go? Mets general manager Omar Minaya is willing to acquire Johnson if Carlos Delgado is out for the season. In fact, Minaya traded for Johnson when Minaya had the same role with the Expos.
Why he's available: If the Twins are out of contention by the Trade Deadline, it's possible that they could attempt to move Crede, who will be a free agent at the end of the '09 season. Will he go? Crede's prior back problems might scare some clubs away, and while he's been productive with the Twins, it means his $2.5 million contract could reach near $7 million thanks to performance bonuses. Where might he go? Crede would be an attractive option to a contending team looking for a solid defensive glove at third base, who also provides some power with his bat.
Why he's available: He has been relegated to designated-hitter duty and backup first base, plus he can be a free agent at the end of the season. Will he go? The Rangers would have traded him by now if they could. Where might he go? He might be of use to a National League team that could use a left-handed bat off the bench.
Why he's available: With Alex Gordon due off the DL at the All-Star break, Teahen will have to vacate third base for another position or another club. Will he go? Maybe. But with Coco Crisp out for the year, it's possible Teahen could go back to left field with David DeJesus returning to center. Where might he go? Teahen's appeal is that he's shown he can play either corner in the infield or outfield and even second base and has a potent bat.
Why he's available: Mora, like Danys Baez and Aubrey Huff, is playing through the last guaranteed year of his contract. Will he go? Mora's situation is complicated by a full no-trade clause, and he's a longshot to be dealt. Where might he go? Mora would likely only OK a deal to a contender, perhaps in Detroit or St. Louis.
Why he's available: Tracy is in the final year of his contract with a $7 million option the team will not pick up. Will he go? It could be a tough sell because injuries have hampered Tracy over the last few seasons and he will need to get over an oblique injury and show teams that he is healthy and hitting. Where might he go? Tracy can play both first and third to a contender looking for some depth at the corners.
Why he's available: Fields lost his starting job at third base to rookie prodigy Gordon Beckham, and has expressed a desire for a return to everyday work again sometime in the near future-even if it's 2010. Will he go? The White Sox clearly have great belief in Fields' talent or they wouldn't have made him their starting third baseman to start the 2009 campaign. He continues to figure into the White Sox plans moving forward and probably won't go anywhere. Where might he go? Fields wouldn't necessarily have to go to a contender, but probably would go to a team based on youth, in need of a power-hitting third baseman or first baseman.
Why he's available: Wigginton is a solid reserve who can play several positions and might fit best in the National League. Will he go? Wigginton isn't that likely to go, especially if the Orioles deal Melvin Mora or Aubrey Huff. Where might he go? The Braves, Giants and Mets could conceivably make a play for Wigginton.
Why he's available: Millar is only signed through this season and Toronto might be looking to add some more offensive firepower to its offense. Will he go? The Jays like having Millar's veteran presence in the clubhouse and bat available against left-handers, but he is expendable if the club decides to add another bat. Where might he go? To a team looking for someone who can provide some pop, play some first base or designated hitter and has plenty of postseason experience.
Why he's available: Jacobs was nudged off first base by Billy Butler and, as a DH, his production with RISP has been very spotty. Will he go? It'd be a tough sell because he's now perceived as one-dimensional and he's into the high-salary arbitration stage. Where might he go? An American League contender that needs a left-handed shot of power would be the most logical spot.
Why he's available: The A's haven't said he's available, but he's a veteran who was acquired to fill in for injured Mark Ellis, and Ellis is back in the lineup. Kennedy has playoff experience and is one of the few Athletics who might be able to bring a quality prospect in return. Will he go? If someone offers a decent prospect and the A's aren't in contention, there's no reason for Oakland to keep him. Where might he go? He was acquired from the Rays, who almost immediately regretted it after Akinora Iwamura was lost for an extended period. The Giants are unsettled as second base, too. And Kennedy can play all over the infield, so he might be attractive to a team in need of a veteran utility man.
Why he's available: The Padres have two third basemen on their current roster, Kouzmanoff and Chase Headley, who was converted into a left fielder before the 2008 season. Dealing Kouzmanoff, who got off to a slow start this season but has swung the bat well in June, could raise his trade value. Move him in the right deal, and Headley is headed back to third base. Will he go? Unlikely. Kouzmanoff is still young and controllable and has been a second-half player since coming to San Diego before the 2007 season. He has six home runs in June alone. While not a Gold Glove defender by any means, Kouzmanoff's defense is markedly better than it was two years ago. Where might he go? The Cardinals looked like an early target before they acquired Mark DeRosa, but now it's unclear what his most logical destination would be.
Why he's available: Third base is his natural position, and Casey Blake is signed for two more years. On the other hand, he can play second base, and Orlando Hudson is not signed past this year. Will he go? The staff loves his approach, but he lacks the power expected at third base. Where might he go? Any club that watched him play in the big leagues last year.
Why he's available: Bautista is under contract for $2.4 million, which is a decent sum for a player primarily used against left-handers and off the bench. Will he go? Maybe, maybe not. Jays manager Cito Gaston likes having Bautista on his bench, but the utility man has had an inconsistent season and seems expendable. Where might he go? To a team looking for a versatile player. Bautista can play multiple positions in the infield and outfield.
Why he's available: He's a left-handed power hitter who attracted interest on the trade market last winter. Will he go? Possible, but only if he can net the Tigers a more proven offensive boost. Where might he go? The Mariners and Pirates were among teams believed to have interest in him last offseason, but neither have what Detroit needs. Colorado could be more likely if the Rockies decide to deal supporting bats.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.