With Rafael Devers on the disabled list, rumors are swirling about the Red Sox checking in on a former Sox third baseman. Could we see a surprise infield addition?
With less than a day to go before the trade deadline, the rumors were guaranteed to fly. They always do. And there are always some interesting ones floating about. But late Monday night a truly interesting rumor hit Twitter. With starting third baseman Rafael Devers on the disabled list, the Boston Red Sox have apparently had conversations with the Texas Rangers about bringing Adrian Beltre back to Fenway Park. Beltre spent the 2010 season in Boston, and was beloved while there, but signed a long term deal with the Rangers that winter.
Beltre played in 154 games that season, blasting 28 HR with a .321/.365/.553 triple slash while providing exceptional defense. These days the glove may be closer to average, but at 39 years old, that’s still mighty impressive. And the bat hasn’t dried up, either. The 30 home run power is gone, but he still boasts a .292/.342/.404 slash. He offers a significantly higher floor than Devers, though the 21-year-old’s power keeps his ceiling higher than the Rangers third baseman.
What would this trade mean for Devers?
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The first thing that comes to mind is that Devers’ hamstring injury is worse than the team is letting on. The latest on his condition is that he feels pretty good and doesn’t expect to be out more than the minimum 10 days. But this is the same team that had their manager claiming Mitch Moreland was only out for a routine day off the day before admitting it was because of a sore knee. While the Belichickian antics are not unappreciated, it’s tough to feel completely sure that Devers really feels as good as he claims.
But even if Devers is back on August 8, an Adrian Beltre trade makes some sense. One of the areas in which Devers needs the most help is with the glove. Who better to teach him than one of the best defensive third basemen of the last two decades? The mentoring alone might be worth the price in trade chips. Add to that the fact that Devers is managing just a 57 wRC+ against left handed pitching this year, whereas Beltre sits at 116. A straight platoon could be used the rest of the way. With Christian Vazquez not due back before September, the team wouldn’t even need to clear a roster spot to make this work. Tzu-Wei Lin could be optioned back to Pawtucket leaving a starting infield of Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Brock Holt, Mitch Moreland and Sandy Leon with Blake Swihart, Steve Pearce, Eduardo Nunez and Adrian Beltre on the bench until rosters expand. That’s some impressive depth.
If Dustin Pedroia makes it back before September, the Red Sox would have a difficult decision to make, but at this point it’s getting a little tough to imagine that happening. What do you think about these rumors? Do you want to see Adrian Beltre back in Boston? Let us know in the comments!