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Cardinals Third Base Waiver Hunt: Let's Not Get Ahead Of Ourselves

Felipe Lopez's self-immolating opinion of the Cardinals' loss yesterday might not be the exact views of John Mozeliak and the Cardinals, but given the Cardinals' already-discussed plans for third base his two crucial errors probably did nothing to slow down their trawl of the waiver wire.

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Lopez isn't the perfect solution at third; he's having a relatively poor season with the bat, and the Cardinals could use him elsewhere. But what's left on the waiver wire, as Bernie Miklasz notes, is awful—Geoff Blum hasn't been a good-enough hitter to play third base since 2002, the year after he was traded by the Montreal Expos; Craig Counsell is defensively gifted and startlingly durable into his dotage, but wouldn't be a solution as a starter.

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Edwin Encarnacion is the only third baseman known to have cleared waivers who is remotely interesting; a failed prospect in Cincinnati after it became obvious that his hitting wouldn't make up for his known attitude and defense-related problems, he's got a lot of power and an above-average bat—a career OPS of .778—and is just 27. But his defensive numbers early in his career, whether through focus or lead-footedness, are incredibly bad. I get the feeling that an Encarnacion pick-up—and if the Cardinals insist on going through these suspects for an answer at third, he's my pick—would end either with a newly motivated Edwin Encarnacion or Tony La Russa yelling him out of the dugout after two weeks.

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But really, there's no reason to think any of these guys are better than Tyler Greene, who just returned to AAA to play some third base, or Allen Craig, who is at least an MLB-caliber hitter. Geoff Blum would be a lateral move for the Memphis Redbirds, let alone the St. Louis Cardinals. 

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