4 Reds who could start at third base after trading Eugenio Suárez to the Mariners

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Kyle Farmer, left, talks with Cincinnati Reds third baseman.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Kyle Farmer, left, talks with Cincinnati Reds third baseman. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer via Imagn
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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.

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) is unable to reach a groundball hit.
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer (17) is unable to reach a groundball hit. / Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content

2. Kyle Farmer could play 3B for the Reds in 2022.

This would be a dream scenario for some of the fans throughout Reds Country. How fun would it be to see both Kyle Farmer and Jose Barrero on the left side of the Cincinnati Reds infield? That dream could become a reality in 2022.

From a defensive standpoint, the Reds couldn't find a better pair to put at third base and shortstop than Farmer and Barrero, respectively. But, while this dynamic duo could be terrific defensively, the hitting aspect of the game could leave a lot to be desired.

I'm of the mindset that Barrero, when given regular ABs, will thrive at the dish. The 23-year-old had just 50 at-bats in the big leagues last season. Farmer had a solid season in the field and at the plate, but the 31-year-old had a wRC+ of just 91 and only a .732 OPS. Those are atypical of what a team would want from their third baseman.

I'm sure we'll see plenty of Kyle Farmer at third base in 2022, perhaps more so when a left-handed pitcher in on the bump. I don't necessarily believe we'll see Farmer platoon with Mike Moustakas, but the former backstop could man the hot corner when Moose is serving as the Reds designated hitter.

Cincinnati Reds right fielder Max Schrock (32) catches a line drive off.
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Max Schrock (32) catches a line drive off. / Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services,

3. Max Schrock could play 3B for the Reds in 2022.

As an everyday third baseman, Max Schrock would not get the job done. But don't be shocked if Schrock snags a start once or twice a week. The absence of Jesse Winker's left-handed bat and the loss of Eugenio Suárez's defense at the hot corner is sure to allow Schrock to the see the field more often in 2022.

Prior to the trade, I questioned whether or not Schrock would even make the Opening Day roster. Now, I feel more confident than ever that he will. Not only will Schrock make the roster, but he'll find a way to sneak into the lineup on a regular basis as well.

Other than left field, where he saw action in 23 games last season, third base was Schrock's most prolific position. The 27-year-old played nine games at third base, eight at second base, five at first base, and one in right field. Schrock is an incredibly versatile defender.

The problem is, while Max Schrock gets on base at nice clip, he lacks the power that typically accompanies a team's everyday third baseman. In 134 plate appearances, Schrock had just three homers but kept his strikeout-rate below 18%. Look for Schrock to see some time at third base, but in small doses.

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Nick Senzel (15) plays a ground ball.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Nick Senzel (15) plays a ground ball. / Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services,

4. Nick Senzel could play 3B for the Reds in 2022.

I know that both Nick Krall and David Bell have said that Nick Senzel will be competing for a spot in the Cincinnati Reds outfield, but why not return the former first-round pick to his natural spot on the infield dirt. Playing Senzel at third base makes too much sense.

Yes, you always worry about Senzel's durability. Unfortunately, that will follow the 26-year-old throughout his career. But, one would think that fielding ground balls would cause less wear and tear on Senzel's body than chasing down fly balls in the outfield and crashing into walls.

Senzel played third base throughout college at the University of Tennessee and during his minor league career. It wasn't until spring training in 2019 that the Cincinnati Reds looked to move Senzel to center field in order to get his bat into the lineup.

Senzel has faired well on the outfield grass, but he did get to play a few games on the infield last year as well. Perhaps Reds manager David Bell uses Nick Senzel similar to Kansas City's Whit Merrifield and former Chicago Cubs third baseman and current free agent Kris Bryant.

Next. Projecting the 2022 Reds Opening Day roster 1.0. dark

The Cincinnati Reds have no shortage of players who can suit up and play third base in 2022. There's also utility infielder Alejo Lopez and non-roster invitee Juniel Querecuto, both of whom appear to be long shots to make the Reds Opening Day roster.