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MLB teams looking for a new third baseman won't find a plethora of intriguing options on the free-agent market this winter. That won't be a problem for the Boston Red Sox, of course, with Rafael Devers in the fold.
Devers, 25, isn't scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent until 2024. A contract extension for the Dominican slugger should be at the top of the Red Sox' to-do list heading into the 2022 campaign.
Assuming Devers gets his well-deserved payday, Boston will be set up at the hot corner for 2022 and beyond. Still, it's worth highlighting the top third basemen available in free agency. Especially since a couple of players on the list offers some defensive versatility, something chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom values highly.
Here's a look at the top five third basemen on the market.
5. Jake Lamb
2021 stats: .194/.306/.368, 7 HR, 19 RBI (55 games)
Lamb has failed to duplicate the success of his 2017 All-Star season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He hasn't hit more than seven home runs or posted an OPS above .700 in a season since then, and much of those struggles likely can be attributed to the shoulder surgery he underwent in 2018. In addition to third base, Lamb has experience at first and at the corner outfield spots.
4. Todd Frazier
2021 stats: .086/.200/.114, 0 HR, 4 RBI (13 games)
Frazier had a 21-homer, .772 OPS season with the New York Mets just two years ago, but his offensive woes since then have left many wondering whether he has anything left in the tank. He was released by the Pittsburgh Pirates after 13 games last season and joined Team USA at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. There, he hit .143 with one home run.
3. Kyle Seager
2021 stats: .212/.285/.438, 35 HR, 101 RBI (159 games)
Seager's 11-year tenure with the Seattle Mariners came to an emotional end as the team declined his club option for 2022, making him an unrestricted free agent. While the on-base and strikeout numbers are concerning, Seager still has plenty of pop and is a solid defender at the hot corner. He should earn a solid deal this winter as a respected veteran with plenty of upside.
2. Eduardo Escobar
2021 stats: .253/.314/.472, 28 HR, 90 RBI (146 games)
Escobar's versatility and offensive prowess make him one of the more interesting players available this winter. The switch-hitting veteran has been used at every position on the diamond over the course of his career 11-year career, including catcher and pitcher. With 30-plus homer potential, this super utility man is set up for a sizable payday.
UPDATE (Nov. 26): Escobar has agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the New York Mets, ESPN's Jesse Rogers reports.
1. Kris Bryant
2021 stats: .265/.353/.481, 25 HR, 73 RBI (144 games)
As a former MVP and four-time All-Star, Bryant is the clear No. 1 option at the third base position. He bounced back from a dismal 2020 season with a rock-solid campaign between Chicago and San Francisco. His offensive numbers since his 2015 Rookie of the Year season speak for themselves, but Bryant also has plenty to offer defensively with the ability to move over to first base or play any of the three outfield positions.