This one is more of a “what might have been” for the Red Sox, although what they got was pretty damn good in its own right. Adrian Beltre had been an excellent third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle Mariners before becoming a free agent after the 2009 season. Coming off the worst season of his career, the Red Sox signed him to a one year deal worth $9 million with a player option for $5 million for 2011.
The deal was widely seen as one which would allow Beltre to either rehabilitate his career or kill it off for good. For the Red Sox, there was minimal risk since it was only for a year, but they lucked out when Beltre bounced back in a big way. In his lone season in Boston, he led the team with a .321 average and hit 28 home runs and 102 RBI. He also led the major leagues with 49 doubles.
While he did lead all third baseman with 19 errors, there was no doubt that fans and team alike wanted Beltre back in 2011. However, he instead took an offer from the Texas Rangers with whom he’d play the final eight seasons of his career, picking up his 3000th career hit along the way.
He was only in Boston for a year, but Adrian Beltre was a great signing and one of those players most Red Sox fans wish had stuck around longer so we could have seen what might have been.