The Phillies are on the opposite side of the summer trade rumor mill for the first time in years
Sitting eight games above .500 the Phillies could find themselves in an interesting position at the summer trade deadline. With nearly all their starting jobs filled, the potential of adding a player through a trade is intriguing, to say the least.
Already connected to a potential reunion with Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels, the Phillies have been mentioned as potential suitors for one of Hamels’ teammates.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe suggests the Phillies could be one of three teams looking at future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre.
Here’s what Cafardo had to say about where Beltre stands in his age 39 season.
"The 39-year-old future Hall of Famer has had trouble staying healthy the last two years, but he’s expected to return to the Rangers’ lineup in the next two weeks. If he shows good health, could Beltre be moved to a contending team? There are plenty of teams — the Braves, Cardinals, and Phillies among them — that would love to have Beltre. He has made it clear that he wants to go into the Hall of Fame as a Ranger. It’ll be interesting to see if that precludes him being traded."
I often take what Cafardo writes with a grain of salt, mostly because it feels like he states the obvious and little of what he writes ever comes to fruition. That being said, let’s examine the idea of Beltre being a Phillie.
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Beltre is in the final year of his contract and is owed $18 million this year with a partial no-trade clause. He’s also on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, which at the age of 39 likely isn’t just a two-week stint on the disabled list.
Should Beltre come to the Phillies he’d be a bench player getting one or two starts a week behind Maikel Franco. Playing in 29 games this year Beltre has a .314 batting average with just one home run and 18 strikeouts to 12 walks. They’re impressive numbers despite the Dominican’s age and wear and tear he’s dealt with in a 21-year career. But at this point in Beltre’s career it’s hard to see im wanting to waive a potential trade clause to a National League team where his playing time will be cut short.
Last year Beltre played just 94 games for the Rangers, who are 11 games below .500 and are dead last in the American League West. Like the Phillies over the last four years, the Rangers will be sellers come July.
Beltre would be a right-handed bat off the bench, which the Phillies at times lack depending on who starts in right field. Aaron Altherr can provide that help if Nick Williams is starting, and the 25-man roster currently has three switch hitters off the bench; Andrew Knapp, Pedro Florimon, and Jesmuel Valentin. None of those three provide significant pop or a tremendous bat with batting averages with Valentin hitting .083, Knapp in the .160s, and Florimon in the .270s for most of the year.
Having a Hall of Fame third baseman work with Franco for the final two months of the season wouldn’t hurt either. Coming into the season as a major question mark, Franco has held his own hitting .255 with seven home runs. Working with a player with five Gold Gloves, two Platinum Gloves, over 3,000 hits, and who grew up two hours away in the Dominican Republic could do wonders for Franco’s career.
What kind of prospect could Beltre command, assuming he’s the only player in the deal coming from Texas? Perhaps a Single-A bat not rated among the organization’s top prospects and several years away from contributing at the major league level. I’m not trading Dylan Cozens, Adam Haseley, or Mickey Moniak for Beltre, that’s for sure.
Again, take Cafardo’s idea with a grain of salt. Beltre could be a nice veteran voice in a young room, but for now, the Phillies have to be happy with their club leading up to the deadline.