Kris Bryant and Eduardo Escobar highlight this group of players available at the hot corner.
“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of each position in the White Sox organization. Each position is made up of five parts:
- Depth in the Rookie Leagues (Dominican through Arizona)
- Depth in A-Ball (Kannapolis through Winston-Salem)
- Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham Charlotte)
- Under the Radar-type detail on a White Sox player
- 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)
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.
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.
Seager has played all 11 years of his MLB career with the Mariners, compiling a 36.9 bWAR.
Villar hit .274 with 24 homers for the Orioles in 2019.
2021 bWAR: 1.7
Slash/power: .287/.357/.381 with 12 2B, 5 HR, 30 RBIs, 8 SB and 25 walks
Other positions played: 2B, SS, LF, 1B
Duffy hit .295 with 12 homers and 77 RBIs for the Giants back in 2015.
Off-the-field issues have clouded Castro’s future. He has 1,722 career hits.
Culberson was quite versatile in 2021, and hit 12 homers for the Braves in 2018.
Alberto hit .305 with 12 homers for the Orioles in 2019.
2021 bWAR: 0.4
Slash/power: .230/.313/.366 with 21 2B, 7 HR, 42 RBIs and 36 walks
Other positions played: 1B, SS
Cabrera hit 25 homers and had 92 RBIs for Cleveland way back in 2011.
Adrianza hit 23 doubles for the Twins in 2018.
Torreyes hit .292 in 336 plate appearances for the Yankees in 2017.
This former White Sox farmhand was an Olympic silver medal speed skate winner in 2014, and member of the 2020 Olympic squad in baseball.
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
Other positions played: RF, LF, 2B, 1B
Drury hit .282 with 16 homers for the Diamondbacks in 2016.
2021 bWAR: 0.1
Slash/power: .209/.281/.298 with 13 2B, 2 HR, 23 RBIs, 5 SB and 23 walks
Holt hit .297 in 87 games for the Red Sox as recently as 2019.
2021 bWAR: -0.2
Slash/power: .063/.118/.063 in 16 AB
Other positions played: 2B
Could be worth a minor-league flyer due to his youth.
Lamb was released by both the White Sox and Blue Jays last year.
2021 bWAR: -0.4
Slash/power: .156/.217/.221 with one double and six walks in 77 at-bats
Other positions played: 2B, SS, LF
Vargas played for the Cubs, Pirates and Diamondbacks in 2021.
Boston Red Sox
2021 bWAR: -0.6
Slash/power: .200/.286/.373 with 11 2B, 9 HR, 39 RBIs and 24 walks
Other positions played: 1B
Shaw hit .273 with 31 homers and 101 RBIs as recently as 2017.
2021 bWAR: -1.5
Slash power: .208/.266/.284 with 9 2B, 3 HR, 18 RBIs and 17 walks
Other positions played: 2B, 1B
Panik hit .288 with 10 homers for the Giants in 2017.
Franco hit 25 homers and 88 RBIs for the Phillies back in 2016.