Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was not a good sequel. Whereas the first Jurassic World was a fun trip with dinosaurs, awesome CGI, funny quips and excellent chemistry between Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt, the second was bereft of many of those aspects. Considering its 50 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes (and 61 percent in audience score), I’m not the only one who feels that way.
The problems with Fallen Kingdom are indicative of what can go wrong with sequels. However, there is a sequel that could be coming this summer that I am all for. No, not Incredibles 2, Sicario: Day of the Soldado or Ant-Man and the Wasp, I’m talking about the Adrian Beltre in a Red Sox uniform sequel. Beltre is being considered as a trade candidate by the Texas Rangers, who are in fifth place in the AL West. They aren’t going to turn things around. That’s just what happens when you fall behind the Houston Astros. So the Rangers are looking to rebuild and the best way to do that is to trade veteran and proven players for the lottery tickets we know as prospects.
Beltre certainly makes sense for that rebuilding strategy. He’s 39-years-old and playing in his 21st MLB season. Although I would entirely believe that Beltre will still be picking ground balls at third base centuries from now, its more likely he will have to retire eventually. When he does, the the Rangers will still probably be trying to get back to contention. That means it would be folly for Texas to keep him when they would be better served by acquiring more young, controllable talent.
Now that we’ve established that the Rangers would be smart to trade Beltre, let’s find out which teams are interested in the future Hall of Famer. The Red Sox are? How wonderful.
The Red Sox obviously already have a starting third baseman in youngster Rafael Devers, but the 21-year-old is having a bit of a sophomore slump and clearly still has some developing to do. He has an 83 OPS+ in 317 plate appearances this year and its even been suggested that a demotion could be useful for him. Acquiring Beltre would make for more than just a stopgap approach but also wouldn’t block Devers’ path for years to come. He might be able to serve as a mentor to the young infielder as well.
For a team that has some intense infield depth issues, Beltre would expand the options the Sox have and provide a bat that could be inserted in the bottom half of the lineup that could make the top of the order not have to carry as much pressure. Beltre is not going to be the same guy that blasted 49 doubles in 2010 with the Red Sox, but he is still slashing .309/.371/.444 with an OPS+ of 117 this season. Clearly he can still make it work in the batter’s box.
Looking past offense, Beltre has made a name for himself as a defensively dominant player at the hot corner. Considering Devers’ inconsistent play at third (-5 defensive runs saved), Beltre would bring some needed stability to the infield defense, as he already has five defensive runs saved this season in 301 1⁄3 innings.
Numbers don’t tell the whole story either. Beltre is a player that has been a joy to watch/write about for the last two decades. He is been worth 94.9 wins above replacement. He is going to the Hall of Fame. His career is just missing a ring. He has played in a total of 28 playoff games, making the postseason five times, including in 2011 when the Rangers very nearly won the World Series. The Red Sox are not a sure thing to win it this year. No team is. That’s why sports are fun. But the Sox are one of the more likely teams to win it. FanGraphs puts them at 9.8 percent to claim the title, which trails only four other teams (New York (AL), Cleveland, Houston and Los Angeles (NL)). FanGrahps also pretty much guarantees at least a playoff berth and who doesn’t want more Beltre playoff baseball?
As Chad Finn pointed out at the Boston Globe, a potential trade for Beltre would be a deal with a high degree of difficulty. Dave Dombrowski can’t (and shouldn’t) throw a bunch of high profile prospects at the Rangers to make it work, partially because the Red Sox don’t really have any. Obviously, the price for Beltre’s services will ultimately determine if this is a trade worth making, but if a deal can be struck, you won’t find me complaining. You’ll find me cheering.
Let’s look at J.D. Martinez’s many, many dingers. (Jen McCaffrey; The Athletic) ($$)
Both Dustin Pedroia and Steven Wright had what’s called cartilage restoration. What is that exactly? (Rachel G. Blowers; Boston Globe)
A sudden change for the better against left-handed pitchers has sprouted up for the Red Sox. (Jen McCaffrey; The Athletic) ($$)
That doesn’t mean Dave Dombrowski won’t hit the trade market to help improve that aspect of the lineup. (Christopher Smith; MassLive)
Drew Pomeranz is on the comeback-from-injury trail. (Julian Benbow; Boston Globe)
Chris Sale can do anything. (Christopher Smith; MassLive)
Its been an odd week of “news” for Hanley Ramirez. (Sheryl Ring; FanGraphs)