Should the Texas Rangers fall out of contention, one of the expected casualties would be Adrian Beltre. Despite his track record of success and his offensive and defensive acumen, the fact remains that he is still 36 years old. Even if the Rangers remain in contention this season, Joey Gallo is expected to be the future at third, and may be ready by the start of next season at the latest. Beltre’s future in Arlington may not last beyond this season.
When it comes to trading Beltre, it is thought that his contract may prove to be a problem. At this point, he has just under $34 Million left, including another $18 Million due next season. With his limited no-trade clause and advancing age (personal note – Beltre is three months older than I am. The idea that he is getting old is somewhat depressing) it is thought that it may be difficult to find a trade partner that will give the Rangers reasonable value in return.
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Yet, this may not actually be the case. While Adrian Beltre is older, and has another year on his contract, the fact remains that he has been one of the most productive players in baseball over the past few years. Last season, at age 35, Beltre posted a .324/.388/.492 batting line with 19 home runs. He made the All-Star Game, won a Silver Slugger award and continued to play his stellar brand of defense at third.
This season, Beltre is off to a slow start, producing a .149/.167/.298 batting line in his first eleven games. However, he has been more at the mercy of the BABiP gods than anything else, as Beltre has struck out only three times in 48 plate appearances. That .140 BABiP apepars to simply be bad luck, as Beltre has a 20% line drive rate, and his other percentages are right around his career norms.
Eventually, and probably in the near future, Adrian Beltre will turn his season around. His bat does not show any signs of slowing down, and he is hitting exactly as he had been previously. Once those balls that he is making contact with start finding the gaps instead of the opposing fielders, then Beltre will look like the same player he always has been.
Once this happens, the question of whether or not there would be any interested teams if the Texas Rangers put Adrian Beltre on the trade block would become a moot point. The Rangers will have suitors, regardless of what is owed to Beltre over the next year plus.