Please Put The Pitchforks Down

Beltre7
A couple of months ago I brought up an idea on Twitter that immediately had people calling me out for being stupid and an idiot. I let it go though I knew that what I suggested had made complete sense. Then a couple of weeks ago a writer for another popular Texas Rangers blog brought up the same idea and he was also attacked via Twitter. I felt at least a little validated knowing that I wasn’t the only one out there who was thinking outside the box.
I am talking of course about trading Adrian Beltre. Now before you yell at your computer/laptop/smartphone and toss it across the room, hear me out. Beltre will be 37 in his final contract year with Texas, assuming they pick up the option for his final year. History suggests that he will have declined to the point that he will be better served as a designated hitter by that time. Last year, at the age of 32, Beltre put together a slash line of .321/.359/.561 with 33 home runs. Will he still be producing at that level when he’s 37? There’s no way to really predict but you can be sure that he will slow down with age, and won’t be the great defensive beast he is now. You must also take into consideration the fact that Beltre has been rumored to have used performance enhancing drugs at one point in his career. PED’s are well known for their side effects which include a breakdown of the body in later years. Just ask Alex Rodriguez about his second hip surgery.

Now let’s take into account what the Rangers have waiting for them prospect-wise. First, there is Mike Olt. He’s a young power hitting third baseman with great defense. He’s also 24 and won’t be a free agent until 2019. That means he won’t be a free agent until he’s 30. Waiting in the wings behind Olt is another power hitter in Joey Gallo, who Texas drafted last season. Third base is secure for a few years. This is why trading Adrian Beltre this season or after this season makes total sense.

Imagine the return, pitching-wise, that the Rangers could net by trading Beltre and a couple of second-tier prospects. Texas could possibly land the ace pitcher they’ve sought for a long time with years of control instead of just a couple of months. I would be completely okay with moving Beltre and plugging in Olt if it meant Texas had a stud at the top of the rotation. The problem is that most fans wouldn’t be okay. They refuse to look at the notion of moving Beltre with actual logic. Instead they look at the few at-bats that Olt had in the majors last year and can’t fathom him ever taking Beltre’s place. The majority believe that Olt should take Mitch Moreland’s place at first or even platoon with Nelson Cruz in right field. The problem with that is once Olt starts playing another position his value begins to go down. He is a third baseman and that’s where he should play.

I realize that I am just an idiot with a keyboard at this point but if I’m the Rangers front office, and I know that I have Mike Olt and Joey Gallo, then I am seriously considering moving Adrian Beltre while he is in his prime and his value is at its highest. It’s just too bad that other fans don’t think the same way.

James Holland is a Senior Columnist for Shutdown Inning. He can be reached at James.Holland@shutdowninning.com or @SDIJamesHolland on Twitter.

James Holland

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