A Silent Trade Candidate for the Red Sox
There are many names on the trade market, but I feel that there is one name not being mentioned by Red Sox fans, and it needs to be.
Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com: (April 24, 2018 – Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)
A lot of names have been thrown around that the Red Sox should trade for. Some have caused a lot more spark than others, but there is one person that is not being thrown out there, and it does not seem like the Red Sox are in on him. Given the position he plays, and the state of the Red Sox bench, this guy would fit in quite well. He plays 3rd base, bats right handed, and is regarded as a very good player in this game of baseball.
You might be expecting me to say Manny Machado.
I am not saying Manny Machado.
The cost of Manny Machado would be astronomical. Machado also declared that he was a shortstop, and the Baltimore Orioles honored his request. He does not want to play 3rd base. There is no reason for the Red Sox to go after Manny Machado because he will not be happy playing 3rd base, and definitely will not sign an extension to continue playing in Boston. Let’s get that one out of the way. The cost is too high, and the Red Sox just cannot afford that given their farm system.
Wait. 3rd base? Don’t the Red Sox already have a great prospect that is proving he belongs in Rafael Devers? Yes. That is true. It does not make this any less of need, however. Devers has been good, and he definitely has turned it on as of late, but his defense is still mediocre at best. He has 15 errors and last year he made 14 of them in less time spent in the big leagues. He has also struggled with the bat until recent weeks when he seemed to have adjusted his mechanics a bit.
I do not want to replace Rafael Devers, either. I want the Red Sox to help him.
I would like the Red Sox to reunite with old friend Adrian Beltre.
Sure, Beltre is 39 and will cost somewhere in the realm of $9 million for the rest of the season. Sure, he has had some hamstring issues, but he can slot in with the Red Sox quite nicely. Jon Morosi of MLB.com writes about the 3rd base market at the trade deadline, and the Red Sox are not even mentioned at all. It makes sense, as their worst positions offensively are catcher, 2nd base and center field.
Let’s put a little bit of a different spin on this. The cost to acquire Beltre would not be all that high, given his age and injury history. The Red Sox do not have much to play with in their farm system, and he would be a cheap upgrade over what the bench currently has. He should also be willing to waive his 10 and 5 no trade rights because he would be going to a top of the line contender. Beltre has never won a World Series, and the Texas Rangers are going nowhere this year.
His production is still there with a .302/.357/.428 slash line in 45 games. Beltre is also a former Gold Glove winner, and is worth 4 defensive runs saved this year even with his advanced age. The Red Sox could use him as a mentor to Devers and have them work on defense together, especially given the struggles of Devers in the field.
It also creates some line up flexibility and gives Alex Cora another bat to work with off the bench that is not completely inept. The team could use Beltre and Devers at 3rd, and use them both at DH, while shifting JD Martinez to the outfield on some days. This allows the Red Sox to improve the bottom of the order that so desperately needs help. The ripple effect creates a sturdier bench for the Red Sox as well. The bench will be better than the anemic hitting Blake Swihart, the back up catcher, and a utility guy.
The Red Sox need the bottom of the order to hit and cannot rely on the stars to hit night in and night out. This will only lengthen a line up that so desperately needs to be lengthened.
The Red Sox are pretty thin in the hitting department, and adding a guy like Beltre on the cheap just might be the best option for them.