Minnesota Twins 2018 positional recap and 2019 predictions, part 5- Third base

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HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 04: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins is carted off the field after being injured sliding into second base in the second inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 4, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 04: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins is carted off the field after being injured sliding into second base in the second inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 4, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WI – OCTOBER 20: Mike Moustakas #18 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 20, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI – OCTOBER 20: Mike Moustakas #18 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 20, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Matt’s predictions

Man, I really don’t know.

This is a tricky one. I think Miguel Sano will get another shot, but I can’t see the Twins being confident enough in him to plan on a full season of quality baseball from him. I like Adrianza a lot as a utility infielder, but I really don’t like him much as a starter. Astudillo could get some time in the big leagues bouncing around from position to position, but I don’t feel at all comfortable going with him as the starter after less than 100 at bats in the MLB (and just 6 games at 3B).

The best, ideal option would be to sign Mike Moustakas to a 3 year contract.  He’s just a really good match for the team. He’s solid player and wouldn’t be a liability in any aspect of the game, yet he’s not so good that many teams will be interested in him and drive up his price. Yet, his previous decisions about contracts has me worried that he wouldn’t be willing to sign a fair contract. I think he’d be a fantastic fit on the Twins for the next 3 seasons, but I don’t think he’s worth overpaying for. If he and Boras are going to hold out for more than he’s worth, I don’t see the Twins pulling the trigger.

Obviously, that leaves us in a conundrum. I can’t advocate the Minnesota Twins signing Josh Donaldson or Adrian Beltre because they don’t give us any sort of added safety. I feel about as confident in Sano being able to play a full season without missing significant time as I am in Donaldson or Beltre. If they’re only going to be active for half a season, I don’t see it as a worthwhile investment, even if only for 1-2 years.

More from Puckett's Pond

But, then we’re pretty much left with Yangervis Solarte. If you ignore his 2018 season, I could be fairly excited about him. But, his season was pretty concerning, for whatever reason that may be. With that said, I do think he is exactly the type of player the Minnesota Twins may be looking at, if you look at their historical free agent signings. He’s not very exciting at all and in all likelihood won’t turn out to be all that valuable, but he’d be pretty low risk and probably wouldn’t burn us with a bad contract.

If I was forced to pick who I think the Twins will sign at third base, I’d probably end up picking Solarte. I’m not all that excited about it, but that’s what I see happening. Ideally, I’d love to see Moustakas sign a reasonable 3 or 4 year contract. I think he’s the absolute perfect fit in this team, I just don’t know if he and Boras will let it happen without getting too expensive.

Next. 8 Free Agents the Twins need to pursue. dark

Summary

A tumultuous season for Miguel Sano left both the short term and long term outlook at third base foggy. There any good options for an everyday 3B within the organization right now, but Sano hasn’t given anyone reasons to count on him as the starter either. After Eduardo Escobar signed with the Diamondbacks, there suddenly became a very limited number of options for the Minnesota Twins if they do turn to free agency for a third baseman. Josh Donaldson and Adrian Beltre are pretty risky, and while Mike Moustakas seems like the perfect fit, I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t happen. That would leave us with Yangervis Solarte as the likely best option, which isn’t too exciting. Whatever happens, third base will be one of the most interesting story lines to watch as a Minnesota Twins fan.

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