After the blockbuster trade that sent Eugenio Suárez and Jesse Winker to the Seattle Mariners, the Cincinnati Reds now have a giant hole at third base. Who is most likely to take over for Geno at the hot corner in 2022?
Interestingly, the Reds are not devoid of options, and some may more sense than others. Honestly, I could see any of these four players lining up at third base throughout the 2022 season. Let's see if one player makes more sense than another.
1. Mike Moustakas could play 3B for the Reds in 2022.
The player who makes the most sense is longtime Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. David Bell moved Moose from second base to third base last spring in order to get Jonathan India's bat into the everyday lineup. With Eugenio Suárez now off to Seattle, will Moustakas return to the hot corner?
Prior to Monday's trade, most fans would have agreed that Moustakas was ticketed to be Cincinnati's designated hitter in 2022, and that may still be the case. Moose was never a Gold Glove caliber fielder with -17 defensive runs saved while playing third base during his career.
Normally, you'd look at a player like Mike Moustakas to be hitting in the heart of the batting order and clubbing 30-plus home runs per year while racking up 90 or more RBIs. The Reds hope that's the version of Moustakas that we see in 2022, but after Moose's first two seasons in the Queen City, I can assure you that the Cincinnati faithful are not holding their breath.
Yes, Moose makes the most sense to be the Cincinnati Reds everyday third baseman, but if his struggles continue into the upcoming season, it'll be hard for David Bell to keep Moustakas in the lineup on a regular basis. The 33-year-old is slated to make $16M this season, so whether it's at third base or somewhere else on the diamond, look for Moose to be in the lineup almost every day.