Long-Term Options at Third
Moving forward into 2020 and beyond, as the Texas Rangers look to be competitive and contending, who will they tap as their third baseman of the future. They have some in-house options and a potential target in free agency.
I mentioned Eli White as a short-term option but he also seems the most likely long-term option for the club. White can play a number of positions on the infield including being very capable up the middle. He might present a long-term replacement for Elvis Andrus but with Elvis likely to be here for a few more years, third base is the quickest way to get White into the lineup regularly. He seems a good defender and if his 2018 Double-A hitting numbers are evidence, he could be an important piece in the lineup.
I think the likelihood of IKF playing third past 2019 is greater than that of him playing regularly there next season. If IKF doesn’t pan out behind the plate as hoped and Texas can find a capable replacement, Kiner-Falefa could transition to third base again as a means to keep his bat in the lineup. However Eli White seems the more likely candidate at this point.
Here’s the option we’ve all been waiting for everybody. The top third baseman in Major League Baseball is set to be a free agent after the 2019 season and thoughts are that he’s not dying to re-sign with the Rockies. Arenado would be 29 come the 2020 season and looking for his long-term contract to carry him through his prime. Arenado is a career .291 hitter with a career .886 OPS leading him to 4 straight Silver Sluggers in the NL. He’s made 4 straight All-Star games and defensively he’s matched by none winning 6 straight Gold Gloves. He’s an MVP level player that we can expect the Rangers to chase. Obviously, it’s down the road, but don’t be surprised if Texas is one of the potential destinations come next offseason.