Welcome to the rumor that you will hear for the next 42 days. Get a calendar out, mark the days off. Eat a piece of chocolate for each one, like an advent calendar! It makes too much sense to go away.
Jonah Keri doesn't exactly bring us a rumor, but he connects the dots that will be connected quite a bit.
Here’s one unsolicited piece of advice for GM Brian Sabean: Give the Rangers a call and see what they’d want for Adrian Beltre. Racked by injuries, Texas is nearing the point where it’ll be playing for little more than draft position. As a 36-year-old making $16 million this year, with an $18 million option next season that’s voided if the Hall of Fame–worthy third baseman doesn’t reach 600 plate appearances in 2015, Beltre would become a prime trade candidate. Although he’s started slowly this season (.258/.293/.426), he’s still a very good defender and is just one year removed from a six-win campaign. He would be a major upgrade over McGehee, Duffy, or anyone else the Giants can trot out right now, and he probably wouldn’t cost more than a couple of B-level prospects, given his age, salary, and contract status.
Adrian Beltre to the Giants. My goodness, does that make sense. Does that make my heart go pitter-patter. My only concern is that Keri is wrong about the B-level prospects, and I'm not sure if the Giants have the desire/inclination/prospects to get into a bidding war if Beltre will take more than that.
You have objections? I have answers to those objections.
Yes, and the Giants have never won with an old dude coming over in the middle of a season in a time of great need. If Marco Scutaro doesn't give you a wet willie, Jake Peavy should. Except, Beltre isn't just a Hall of Nearly Greater. He's gonna go to the Hall of Fame. He's a risk, mind you. Time murders everything good, and it's in your trunk, waiting for you to pull over right now. That sub-.300 OBP could be the new normal.
He is! But there's a reason why the Rangers picked up his option before even waiting for him to get 600 plate appearances. He's been really, really productive, and the Rangers figured it was something of a foregone conclusion that they would exercise the option, so the did it more as a goodwill gesture, I guess?
An $18 million player on the books for 2016 would jimmy with the offseason plans before the Giants could even get close to the offseason, but if you're going to blow it on a player, at least pick the Hall of Famer on a short-term deal. Failing with that kind of move is a lot easier to take than, say, failing with a seven-year deal for a left-hander of dubious quality.
Well, Matt Duffy fix it
Not the worst option. Maybe the best, considering salary. But here's how I look at it. At his best, Duffy is going to provide three average skills: hitting for average, baserunning, and defense. He has a chance to get above average with some of those, maybe all. McGehee can, at his best, provide just one: average. And considering he's hit .270 over his last 365 days, it's not like that skill is worth waiting around for.
Also of note: McGehee has hit into 40 double plays over the last calendar year, in just 142 games.
Beltre, at his best, has three well-above-average skills: hitting for average, hitting for power, and defense. If the scouts see something left with Beltre -- don't send the same one who brought back Jose Guillen or Orlando Cabrera, please -- he has the potential to make the biggest difference, and it's not even close.
He'll cost too much in a trade
Now this ... this, I can get behind. The Rangers probably aren't going to just give him away. I know it makes sense -- bad team, limited future, aging player making almost $20 million -- but that ignores one of the most important Beltre-related tidbits: He's an absolute pleasure to watch. Here, you scroll through this. It's a treat.
I love that highlight more than any other non-Giants clip this year. So fun. So much fun. Then you get to the part where he doesn't like his head touched, plays sterling defense, and hits baseballs real far, well, you have a fan favorite. Teams don't like to give fan favorites away for B-prospects. There's more to successful marketing than wins in future seasons -- having a reason to care about the team in the present is pretty important, too.
Pretend the Giants lose their next 30 games. Right down the tubes. Now pretend the Angels trade Random A-Ball Reliever to get Hunter Pence. It might make sense from a clear-the-ledger perspective, but you would be kinda irate right? That's our player, our magic weirdo. The Giants aren't going to take that away from the fans, both hardcore and fair-weather, just to save some money. Not yet.
That's Beltre to the Rangers, albeit on a shorter deal. He's not going to be put on the curb with a free sign like that nasty couch that's been at the end of my street for a week, seriously, no one wants your nasty couch, please be responsible and get rid of it, you nasty people. They'll want prospects to hold up and say, "See? We got value for him, at least."
If that's the case, I'm not sure if the Giants will be interested. Or if they'll even have the prospects to be interested. Still, you'll hear and read a lot about this idea soon. It makes too much sense to go away.
Also, the idea of Beltre in a Giants uniform would disgust a lot of Dodgers fans. Don't forget that part. Don't forget that.