Ask yourself, honestly, whether the Phils' 10-year history of a light-hitting hot corner has been a major detriment to the success of the team. It hasn't.
Beerleaguer: For those who watched third baseman Pablo Sandoval make history Wednesday night with three homers in Game 1 of the World Series, power at the hot corner might be top of mind this morning. For 10 years, third base has consistently been the Phils' least productive spot on the diamond.
Which brings us to Alex Rodriguez. According to reports, the Yankees may be willing to pay almost all of the $114 million left on his contract rather than stomach his face through 2017. The prevailing wisdom says the Phils will check on A-Rod because he meets the criteria of a right-handed power third baseman, someone who could slot in as a clean-up hitter between Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, assuming the defamed Yankee has anything left in the tank.
However, hot corner defense has been a major mitigator for the hometown nine, and something of a franchise hallmark, dating back to Mike Schmidt, Scott Rolen and spanning the eras of David Bell, Abraham Nunez (who logged the most innings in 2007) Pedro Feliz and Placido Polanco. Indeed, our third basemen have stood among the most reliable defenders at the position in all of baseball.
There are plenty of weak-hitting corners on that list. Add in Tomas Perez, Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez, and still, the failures that truly stick out are on the defensive side. Think 2007 - when they tried to make Wes Helms a full-time third baseman and eventually tried to do the same with Greg Dobbs, and 2012, when they attempted to get by with Ty Wigginton, and later, Mike Fontenot in Polanco's absence.
In general, when the Phils emphasized defense, the team improved.
So from a team perspective, it's difficult to see the appeal of a declining, statistically augmented 37-year-old in A-Rod knowing they just watched a 36-year-old gold glover in Polanco fall apart before their very eyes.
Which brings us to 30-year-old fill-in Kevin Frandsen, who, in the words of long-time Beerleaguer MPNPhilly, "pisses me off." Reason being: if his glove was just a little better, he's really no different than postseason darling Marco Scutaro. Nevertheless, I like him anyway.
Now, the Phils could always meet somewhere in the middle due to the changing tides of an offensive core in decline. Someone like Kevin Youkilis, for example, might make for an attractive option and an interesting long-term platoon idea for Ryan Howard, with Freddy Galvis serving as a defensive caddy.
Or, the Phils will look to pick up the offensive slack in the outfield, hope Cody Asche can stay on track and leave third base to the defenders, which, frankly, has been their most successful model.