Oakland Athletics: Who Should Start at Third Base in 2016?

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Pro Brett Lawrie

May 2, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Brett Lawrie (15) leaps but cannot make the catch on a double hit by Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus (1) during the third inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Martinez: We didn’t give up Josh Donaldson to have Brett Lawrie play a different position. Lawrie should have no competition going into spring training at third base. Lawrie is the type of player the A’s have to build around. He is one of our building blocks for the future. I think we should trade Danny Valencia sooner than later. Valencia is a career back up and had a break out season when he joined the A’s, but Valencia will not sustain that level of success. With Valencia out of the picture, Lawrie can concentrate on becoming a better fielder at third base knowing that he doesn’t have to worry about whether he will be moved over to second base over the course of next season.

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Katrina Putnam: I think as the roster stands now, Brett Lawrie is most likely to claim the job. There has to be a reason Valencia has never been an everyday player despite the numbers he puts up. Regardless of rumors, there is a historical basis for believing he can’t stick with a team or play every day – he’s had continued success at the plate and defensively, but no team has ever given him a home for long. Lawrie will likely default back to third if Valencia is out of the picture, because he’s the next-best third base option on the team.

However, I think there’s a good chance that the A’s target a corner infield bat. Lawrie is good, but he’s not good enough that he can’t be easily replaced over the off-season. I’ve always viewed him as more of a placeholder in the Josh Donaldson trade – the A’s couldn’t trade JD without bringing back a third baseman to fill his spot, but it was the other prospects they were really interested in. There’s also his injury history to be concerned about, so third base is a major need for Oakland.

Next: Pro Danny Valencia