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As the farm system has depleted, the Red Sox should inquire on the services of a former standout and future Hall of Famer.
There is little question that the Red Sox have upgrades that they need to make as the Trade Deadline approaches. However, due to a depleted farm system, Dave Dombrowski will look to put together his most impressive roster building moves to date.
In previous seasons, the aggressive Red Sox GM has been able to wave Top 100 prospects in the faces of suitors, but with the prior acquisitions of Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, and Craig Kimbrel, the farm system has been largely drained. A series of under-the-radar moves is likely in order to retain any talented prospects.
The Red Sox should be calling the Texas Rangers to do business. No, as much as Cole Hamels could be utilized, he’ll likely command a package of talented youth – one that the Sox likely couldn’t provide.
Enter Adrian Beltre.
The former Red Sox third baseman’s career is slowly coming to an end. An illustrious career, surely to end in enshrinement in Cooperstown, could get one last shot at a World Series title in Boston. At age 39, Beltre isn’t the same every day player that he once was, but he could prove to be valuable depth to a Red Sox team that has defensive struggles at the hot corner.
Though Rafael Devers will surely be a star in Boston, he could use defensive seasoning. He’s committed 15 errors this season and perhaps a mentor from the Dominican Republic could prove to be beneficial in 2018 in a pennant chase – and beyond – as an adviser for Devers. Despite his age, Beltre still provides offensive value, as he’s collected a .302 average with 3 homeruns and 22 RBI’s. Any offensive output has been hindered by injury struggles earlier this season.
Let’s Make a Deal
As previously stated, the Red Sox don’t have an abundance of highly touted prospects to satisfy the needs of any potential trade partner. However, they have a controllable young arm that could find a home in Texas. In limited innings as a starter, Brian Johnson has been quite effective. It was just last season that Johnson tossed the only complete game shutout, but has since been forced into a bullpen role due to a lack of minor league options.
Despite a 5.60 career ERA as a reliever, Johnson has flashed signs of potential as a starter. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that he will get that opportunity in Boston. The former Florida Gator was a first round selection and could prove to be a valuable member of the Rangers’ rotation in the future. It seems likely that Texas will seek to capitalize on Hamels’ value, as they are well out of the playoff picture, opening a rotation spot for Johnson.
Further providing value, Johnson has multiple years of inexpensive team control as he’s not set to hit the free agent market until 2024. A deal centered around the lefty and a fringe level prospect could get a deal done with Texas. Beltre is owed $18,000,000 this season, but financial responsibility will surely be a part of any negotiation around the future Hall of Fame third baseman.
Time is of the Essence
The Rangers have reportedly received interest in Beltre, thus increasing the importance of Dombrowski’s shrewd business decisions.
In this potential deal, the Red Sox would acquire a proven glove / bat to platoon at third and DH, while mentoring the blossoming Devers. Meanwhile, Texas would acquire a potential innings-eater and a lower tier prospect in exchange for the aging Beltre.
Red Sox Nation would surely welcome the future Hall of Famer, and old friend, back to Boston.