Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Trade Targets: Adrian Beltre

Adrian Beltre should be one of the Twins top trade targets this offseason. Brian Buscher was alright last year but he had terrible defense. A Buscher/Harris platoon would be ok but certainly not ideal. Danny Valencia is one of the Twins top prospects in the minor leagues but he probably won't be major league ready for a year. He should be the Twins 3B of the future starting in 2010. But the Twins know they are contenders to make the playoffs in 2009, and they'd like a good 3B.

Adrian Beltre fits the bill. We know the Twins tried to get him at the trade deadline this year, but the Mariners were demanding one of the Twins young starting pitchers. Beltre only has one year left on his contract so he should be a one-year rental, hence dropping his trade value. Plus Beltre KILLS the ball in contract years. In 2004 he was also in the last year of his contract. He hit 48 home runs, 121, RBI, .334 BA, .388 OBP, .629! SLG PCT, and the list goes on and on. Not to mention he plays gold-glove caliber defense and he is a right-handed bat. Think of the damage he could do batting in the Twins lineup with Mauer and Morneau!

The other benefit is that after he leaves the Twins for free agency in 2010, then the Twins will receive 2 first round supplimentary draft picks, a nice bonus, not to mention his $13 million dollar salary off the books. Then Danny Valencia would be ready to step in as the new Twins 3B.

Really it is a perfect fit. Unfortunately the Twins tried to get him in 2008 already and balked at the price tag. The money isn't the issue it's what the Mariners want in return. Now the Mariners are looking for a new general manager, and hopefully the new one won't be as stubborn. The Mariners need starting pitching. The Twins have lots of major-league ready pitching at AAA. I really don't think they should trade Liriano, Baker, Slowey, Blackburn, or Perkins for just one year of Beltre. But if they could throw in some top prospect pitchers then the Mariners might bite. If they need a 3B, Buscher could be included. If they have to trade one of their young, cheap MLB pitchers I would give them only Nick Blackburn. But the Twins likely won't do that.

Mariners get: RHP Anthony Swarzak, RHP Brian Duensing, 3B Brian Buscher
Twins get: 1 year of 3B Adrian Beltre

New lineup:

CF Span
2B Casilla
C Mauer
3B Beltre
1B Morneau
LF Cuddyer
DH Kubel
RF Young
SS Harris

Probability of Twins trading for Beltre: 31%

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