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Luis Valbuena could be the Cubs’ starting third baseman

Dec 29, 2013, 8:30 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

Third base has become an increasingly difficult position to fill properly. As an example, Juan Uribe has earned the biggest contract at the position this off-season, recieving $15 million over two years from the Dodgers. As a result, the Cubs may end up having to give their starting third base job to Luis Valbuena, Carrie Muskat of suggests.

Valbuena has a career .654 OPS but posted a .708 mark in 2013 along with 12 home runs in 391 trips to the plate. He got the lion’s share of the playing time at the position last season. The Cubs’ other option is Mike Olt but he struggled with Triple-A Iowa after coming over to the Cubs from the Rangers in the Matt Garza trade.

  1. nysportsrule - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    Well at least my mets have that position locked up.

    • nymets4ever - Dec 30, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      Word. Looking at some of the dreck that teams around the league are running out there at 3B, it’s nice to know we have a future Hall of Famer locked up at the hot corner for years to come…

  2. oldschoolnflman - Dec 30, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    Mike Olt…time to sink or swim? Or is it too early?

  3. jeffbbf - Dec 30, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    whoever it is, seems like just a placeholder for Kris Bryant. Personally, I’d hope for Olt. Maybe he does something worthwhile so he could be traded for a pitcher. Hopefully, just one more crappy year, one more top draft pick, before the kids start helping out

    • delusionalcubsfan - Dec 30, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      Agreed! Any Cubs fan who’s paying attention knows that whoever is at 3rd base in 2014 is just a placeholder for Bryant, who’s raking at every level and looking like he’s maybe only a season away from holding down the hot corner for a long time. Olt will get a chance to win the job but we won’t count on it. I was not happy about Valbuena being the starting 3rd baseman last season but he actually did alright. Pretty good defense and acceptable OBP. He even put up a higher WAR than Aramis Ramirez, Eric Chavez and A-Rod did in 2013! Probably just a backup on a playoff team but for the Cubs in 2014, he’ll do.

  4. sleepyirv - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Valbunea was a great short-term solution for the hot corner. Emphasis on short-term. There are a lot of other options in the organization with the goal to probably move Valbunea to 2nd at some point.

  5. txraiderfan - Jan 3, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    He’s good enough for now

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