Josh Donaldson was available on the open market to start the free agent season. But that ship has sailed as he signed a one-year deal with the Braves a few weeks ago. He might have been a good fit for the Padres, but the third baseman wanted to return home and took himself out of free agency very early on. It is not known if the Padres even discussed him as a possibility.
There are a few players who are second baseman who could possibly play third. Ian Kinsler and Daniel Murphy are veteran players with much experience in the league. In an overcrowded second base market, they could be signed and moved to third base. Maybe. Murphy and Kinsler have mobility issues, so moving positions at their age could be difficult. This is a far-fetched idea, but the Padres do think outside the box.
Yangervis Solarte was DFA’d by the Blue Jays and could be signed if the Padres want to go that route. The switch-hitter had some great years with the Friars, but signing him would be a move backward for a team that is supposedly all about the future. You would have to think he would get a better offer elsewhere.
Jed Lowrie is another option on the open market, but will probably be too expensive and will likely stick at second base. The switch-hitter can play third but is rumored to be flirting with teams like the Nationals. Washington would clearly outbid the Padres and Lowrie’s age probably isn’t a great fit for a youthful Padres team.
Here are some other options that are available on the open market:
Free agent options-
Moustakas has ridiculous power from the left side, but has struggled to find a home in recent years. He struggled last season to find a home, but was brought back by the Royals late in the spring training season on a $5.5 million contract. He slugged 28 homers on the year and finished with a .774 OPS in 152 games between Kansas City and Milwaukee. The 30-year-old provides tremendous power, but a horrible OBP. He is also average at third base with the glove.
The Padres could have some interest, but only if they cannot find a suitable player and the price on Moustakas drops to a bargain basement rate. There isn’t much likelihood of a Hosmer/Moustakas reunion in San Diego as the Padres seem to be focused on younger players with more team control at this point, but nothing can be ruled out with Preller at the helm.
The Pirates elected to let the former NL batting title winner go as he had a disappointing 2018 season. He put up a .656 OPS in 96 games for Pittsburgh as he battled a few injuries. The versatile player could easily man third base, but his numbers are a bit of an enigma. He has made an all-star appearance twice (2014 & 2017), when he put up around a .340 OBP, but has also had horrible years at the plate.
Harrison is scrappy and a team player. He made $10.5 million last year, and that was partially why he was let go. At 31, the infielder could be attained by the Padres relatively cheap. He could float around the club and play multiple positions for the Friars. Harrison does get banged up often. If the Padres were to rely on him at third base, they would need to have someone as a reliable backup.
No free agent is more versatile than this switch-hitting 29-year-old. He should get a decent contract as he has proven that he can play multiple positions well and he has also shown that he is a winner. The former World Series champion played every position last year but catcher and pitcher, and recorded a .733 OPS in 145 games.
He will likely get a three-year deal from a team ready to compete. The Padres have interest, but can they go the extra mile for a player when the team isn’t quite ready to compete? Gonzalez has tremendous value as he can plug in at multiple positions and not hurt a club with the glove either. The Padres will make a push, but can the secure his services?
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