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Adrian Beltre is almost the perfect fit for Red Sox

Rob Bradford
July 29, 2018 - 6:59 am

The last time the Rangers swung through town Adrian Beltre left quite an impression, at least on one member of the Red Sox.

For a good 30 minutes, Beltre took the time to sit down with Rafael Devers, who had idolized the veteran third baseman growing up. The pair talked about a lot of things, but the main message was to persevere through the tough times. Beltre knows of what he speaks. Remember, this was a guy who needed his "pillow contract" year with the Red Sox to resurrect what might very well be a Hall of Fame career. This is a guy who is attempting to keep his head up in what has been a disastrous season for Texas.

And now Beltre's own advice resonates more than ever for both players. In Devers' case, it needs to be called upon after suffering a hamstring injury Saturday night. (An ailment Beltre is all too familiar with.) And for the 39-year-old this is an uncomfortable time for the simple reason that he might be leaving his beloved Rangers.

Ironically, the pair of dilemmas could feasibly lead the two men together.

There has been talk of the Rangers sending Beltre to a contending team for the final few months of 2018, with Atlanta the club most rumored to be seeking his services. But because of the third baseman's 10-5 rights, he has the power to veto any deal.

"It's a difficult situation for me," Beltre told reporters. "I'm caught between the organization that gave me the chance to win for many years, the organization that trusted me enough to sign me to multi-year contracts multiple times, the fans -- I could ask nothing better than the way the Texas fans have received me in this state. But ultimately, I do want to win.

"And obviously, if I get traded to a team that 'has a chance to win,' we might not end up getting there," Beltre said. "It's going to come along if the right situation works for both parties."

It's not difficult to manufacture a scenario where the Red Sox would be the right situation.

If Devers' hamstring is a lingering issue it makes sense to not thin out the roster by playing Brock Holt every day at second base and Eduardo Nunez at third. And this is a guy in Beltre who can still play, actually leading the Rangers with a .292 batting average. He's also been on somewhat of a hot streak this past week, going 9-for-19 (.474) over his past four games.

Then there is the clubhouse impact. In this respect, there probably isn't anyone better to have around for a pennant drive. The Red Sox got a taste of that in 2010.

But even assuming Beltre would accept a trade to the Red Sox there is a huge roadblock -- the money.

The third baseman is making $18 million this season, meaning the Red Sox would be on the hook for about $6 million, a number that would undoubtedly put them over the dreaded luxury tax threshold. And while Dave Dombrowski said he is not averse to paying the penalties for blowing past the line of $137 million, doing so for a part-time player -- as valuable as he might be in his limited role -- might not be part of the plan.

A reunion with Beltre is a nice thought, one which didn't escape the world of social media immediately after Devers' injury. But in the end, it's probably going to be only just that -- a thought.

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