Which SS/3B Tandem Is the Best?

Typically the trivia questions they ask at the ballpark are lame. As are the questions they pose on TV while you’re watching a ballgame. Except for in this case. My buddy, frequent commenter here at LBS, and occasional site contributor, Alan Hull, notified me that one of the questions posed during a Dodgers/Marlins game (I think) was the following: which SS/3B tandem would you rather have? The choices were excellent — making the decision about as tough as any. So I will pose it to you, along with another tandem that is somewhat noteworthy for you to choose from (age in parenthesis):

  1. Marlins:
    3B Miguel Cabrera (24) – 348 BA, 8 HR, career OPS .925, 112 career HRs
    SS Hanley Ramirez (23) – 336 BA, 31 runs, 10 SBs, .951 OPS, NL ROY
  2. Yankees:
    3B Alex Rodriguez (31) – 15HR, 39 RBI, 1.212 OPS, 2 MVPs, 40/40, 2 GG
    SS Derek Jeter (32) – 362 BA, 23 runs, ROY, 3 GG, WS MVP, .317 career BA
  3. Mets:
    3B David Wright (24) – 254, 3 SBs, 69 career HRs, .301 career BA
    SS Jose Reyes (23) – 352 BA, 982 OPS, 31 runs, 19 SBs, 3x NL SB king
  4. Atlanta Braves
    3B Chipper Jones (35) – 10 home runs, 23 RBI, 1.042 OPS, 1999 NL MVP
    SS Edgar Renteria (31) – .338 BA, 906 OPS, 5 time All-Star, 2 Gold Gloves

On the surface, you might just say the Yankees without hesitation. That’s not a bad answer, and probably the tandem I’d want for the next 3-5 years. But can you so easily deny the youth of the Marlins and Mets? The Braves was the tandem I added to the discussion because, well, I feel like an argument can be made for them. If it were just for this season, I’d go with the Yankees tandem. If it were to start a franchise, I dunno, tough call between the Mets and Marlins. If you’re talking about the best 3B/SS bargain financially, no question — it’s the Marlins. You pretty much can’t go wrong with any of the three. But how lucky are the Marlins and Mets to have what they do for now, especially at those prices?

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  • Brent

    Yankees. no question

  • Tony

    How can you even include the Marlins in there?

  • Alan 1 and only

    wow, can’t believe anyone would say ‘how can you even include the Marlins in there,’ or ‘yankees no question’ so easily. To me, the Braves tandem has no place on this list as they are the oldest pair and Chipper can’t man third base for his life.

    As for the Marlins and the Mets–the best pair–the thing that really stands out are the respective ages: 23, 24 each, while A-Rod and Jeter are 31 and 32 respectively. That alone disqualifies them, not to mention their contracts…

    Cabrera gets no love for some reason but the kid is PUJOLS-lite and Hanley’s performance last season was so underrated compared to Reyes when they basically did the same thing while Hanley is 6-months younger and 3 inches taller, projecting for more power than Reyes in their Peak years.

    If you ask me, I go with Marlins over Mets by a hair if I were building a franchise. The only scenario where I might not take the Marlins would be for the 2007 season where I’d go Yankees, but that’s pretty much it.