The Milwaukee Brewers said farewell and godspeed to third baseman Josh Donaldson this offseason, losing him to free agency after less than a month at American Family Field. Whether or not this departure should be viewed with any kind of sadness sort of depends on how you feel about Donaldson — who, despite his less than stellar reputation, did manage to do good work for the Brewers at the tail end of their season.
More than losing Donaldson's, shall we say, big personality, the Brewers are left without a solid third baseman. Donaldson's gone and might retire, Brian Anderson is technically a free agent but was released by the organization in early October, Andruw Monasterio split his time between third and second this season, and...do you remember that Mike Brosseau was a Brewer in 2023? That he was their Opening Day third baseman? Wild.
Ranking 3 top third baseman the Brewers could pursue in free agency
Basically, the Brewers have a gaping hole at third. This 2023 free agent class is becoming notorious for its lack of position players, but there are still some good top options for third basemen who span a good range of affordability, depending on how much the Brewers are planning to spend this year. Here are three the Brewers should highly consider signing.
3. Gio Urshela
Gio Urshela has always been a sneakily solid defensive third baseman and middle lineup bat, with a career 6.3 fWAR and .277 batting average over eight years in MLB. When you put his reputation and his numbers up against each other, they reflect a player who might fairly be called underrated. There's still a good deal of fondness for him in New York after the three seasons he spent with the Yankees from 2019 to 2021, given some postseason heroics and some well-timed hot streaks.
During his one year stint in Minnesota in 2022 (he was traded there for none other than Josh Donaldson), he performed for his best fWAR since 2019 and slashed .285/.338/.429. Before he suffered a pelvis fracture this year, he batted .299/.329/.374 as the Angels' everyday shortstop. He's not a superstar and his slugging numbers aren't perfect, but he's clearly a dependable, adaptable infielder who can hit for contact. He'd also be one of the cheaper options of the top available third baseman; MLB Trade Rumors estimates a two year contract for $20 million. If he can stay healthy, he could make a stint with the Brewers worth it.