With the Yankees'potential interest in Nolan Arenado over Manny Machado, as reported by SNY's Andy Martino, it begs the question: which third baseman would you rather have?
Arenado and Machado are both similar players, and the Yankees also have a pretty good up-and-coming third baseman already on their roster in Miguel Andujar.
Let's break it down:
Age: 27 (turns 28 April 16)
All-Star appearances: 4
Awards: 6 Gold Gloves, 4 Silver Sluggers
Career slash line: .291/.346/.539
Defensive WAR: 13.3
Offensive WAR: 21.6
Arenado is the oldest of the three, but also the most-decorated with six Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger awards. He boasts the highest slugging percentage of the three and led the league in home runs three times, RBI twice and doubles once.
The concern regarding Arenado, however, is how much of his stats are inflated by Coors Field? His career home/road splits certainly show a significant disparity. In 438 games at Coors Field, he has 108 career home runs and a .320/.374/.609 slash line. In the same amount of games on the road, his numbers to .263/.318/.469. with 78 home runs.
Of course, Yankee Stadium is an awfully hitter-friendly ballpark, too, and there may not be much of a dropoff from his power numbers.
All-Star appearances: 4
Awards: 2 Gold Gloves
Career slash line: .282/.335/.487
Defensive WAR: 11.3
Offensive WAR: 25.7
Machado may not have as many awards as Arenado, but that may be a result of a deeper third base field in the American League. They are very similar players with similar offensive numbers and defensive ability. Machado may have fewer career home runs but still hit at least 33 dingers in each of the last four seasons. He is a year-and-a-half younger and while his splits are also better at home, there is less disparity between home and road and therefore less doubt about succeeding in another environment.
Age: 23 (turns 24 March 2)
All-Star appearances: None
Career slash line: .300/.332/.531
Defensive WAR: -2.2
Offensive WAR: 4.9
Andujar has just one full major league season under his belt, so his numbers are just a small sample size compared to the other two, but his potential at the plate is evident. He tied a rookie record with 47 doubles last season and hit 27 home runs -- which is more power than Machado or Arenado displayed in their first full seasons in the majors.
While it is entirely possible Andujar can develop into as big a threat at the plate as the other two, where he falls short is his defense -- and it is not even close. He committed 15 errors in 136 games last season and there has been talks of moving him off the hot corner to first base if his defense cannot improve.