We’re within 24 hours of the non-waiver trade deadline and rumors are still flying as to which players are available or not, and out of those which can be had at a price that works for both sides in a deal. The latter sticking point is the thing that seems to be holding up many possible trades this deadline, and a lot of late-stage rumors are pointing towards teams still not exactly sure if some assets are available and what they actually want out of deals.
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reports that the Rangers and Braves are discussing a possible deal for Adrian Beltre, the 39-year old veteran third baseman. Beltre is currently hitting .292/.342/.404 with a 97 OPS+ and 33 RBI in 73 games this season.
Why it makes sense for the Rangers to trade Adrian Beltre to the Braves
The Rangers aren’t going anywhere this year, and as it might be Beltre’s last year in the league it would make sense that he wants one more shot at winning the World Series ring that has eluded him. While many teams are hoarding their prospects for offseason trades or because they value young players under team control far more than the players available at this deadline, the Braves do have prospects available to trade should they want to make a serious play for Beltre some time in the next day.
It’s time for rebuild efforts in Texas to kick in to the next gear, as this deadline has proven well enough. So if they can give Beltre an opportunity to win a ring while also improving their future well ... that’s pretty much how rebuilds are supposed to work. However, with Beltre’s full no-trade clause in play here and the deadline closing in the Rangers might want to work on deals with teams Beltre is reportedly more interested in agreeing to deals with — namely the Red Sox (with whom he had one of his best seasons in 2010), Indians, or the Astros.
Why it makes sense for the Braves to trade for Adrian Beltre
Johan Camargo is currently handling third base full-time for the Braves, which puts another wrench in things when it comes for Beltre agreeing to a trade. If he’s not playing full time he might be less inclined to leave Texas — even if it’s for a chance at winning a championship.
Camargo is hitting .259/.286/.481 in his last seven games and .241/.293/.370 in his last 15. So it’s not a specifically weak position for the Braves heading into the fall. One of the other major reasons Atlanta would pursue Beltre is for his leadership, which does make more sense. It’s a younger team on the cusp of returning to the playoffs after multiple years away and having someone in the clubhouse with postseason experience can’t hurt. Especially one as roundly loved as Beltre is throughout the league.
But once again, with other teams in play like the Red Sox and Indians — who could also benefit from Beltre’s presence and bat, particularly Boston as full-time third baseman Rafael Devers is currently on the DL — the Braves might be the least favorite landing spot of all the teams interested. Even though they might be the ones pressing the most.
D. With the trade deadline so close and the talks looking cursory at best between Texas and Atlanta, Beltre going to the Braves seems like an outside chance at this late stage. With other teams in on the conversation as well, it’s not out of the question that Beltre will go somewhere. But it does seem reasonable to rule out Atlanta being that spot.