Casey Blake leads the third base free agent market. There will be tons of suitors for him. Not only because he is the best third baseman available, but also because of his versatility. Let’s take a look.
Dodgers (frontrunners) You can’t trade one of the best third base prospects in the game and then just take a pass on his replacement. I know it will be hard locking up Blake, but you’d have to think the Dodgers would have to go all in to get him. Casey is more of a small-town guy, but with the Dodgers possibly offering 3 years, 24 million, he might take the money over the geography. I think he stays in Dodger Blue.
Braves (frontrunners) His versatility would make him a very valueable asset to the Braves. He could play either outfield corner, so they’d have flexibility if Jeff Francoeur continued struggling. The’d also be able to move Blake to third base in the event of a Chipper Jones injury. They also have the money to get a deal done. Don’t be surprised if he goes here.
Twins (frontrunners) They need a third baseman, and Blake makes a lot of sense here. They will go hard to try and trade for Adrian Beltre, but if they miss out Blake is a great fall-back option. He would also be nice to help out in the outfield if Michael Cuddyer reinjures himself.
Mets (possible) He could sign on in New York with the Mets and see a lot of time in the outfield. The only problem is that they’ll have to outbid the Dodgers and give Blake possibly up to 30 million over three years. That’s way to much. It would be far smarter to add a few million and sign Raul Ibanez. They get a far superior bat for only a little more money. Or Jaun Rivera could make sense for a lot less on a one year deal.
Giants (possible) There will always be the Giants – Dodgers rivalry. It is both on an off the field. The Giants could decide to spend a lot on Casey Blake to improve the infield and keep him from the Dodgers. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them aggressively pursue him.
Reds (not likely) They will probably have interest because of his good bat for left field, but he will be grossly overpayed for an outfielder. Especially with all the better ones available via free agency. The only thing that might cause a discount from Casey Blake is Great American Ballpark.
Rays (not likely) The Rays had interest in him at last year’s trade deadline. They probably will pursue him to an extent this year, too. But instead I find it more likely they go with cheaper options.
Phillies (not likely) They’ll want him as a left fielder to replace Pat Burrell, but they don’t have a lot of money to spend. It might be smarter to use Citizens Bank Park as a lure for Jaun Rivera to sign on the cheap.
Indians (dark horse) The Indians are a dark horse candidate to resign Casey Blake. He still makes a lot of sense for their team. Although there might be a little bad-blood, a deal could still get done.