Adrian Beltre Is Fishing For A Contender But Getting No Bites

Jae C. Hong / AP Images

Adrian Beltre is looking for a contender, the problem is that no contenders are looking for him. At least not right now. Beltre waived his no-trade clause with Texas, but only if he is dealt to a contender. At 39, the former slugger is looking for one more shot at a World Series before possibly being out of a job. He will be a free agent at the end of this season, and the market for him may be slim pickings.

Beltre isn’t quite what most teams are shopping for when you think of getting armed for a postseason run, but that doesn’t mean he is without skills to offer. He brings postseason experience to the plate, he is still defensively solid, and with a batting average in the high 0.280s, he can still get on base. The biggest weakness he has shown on the field this year is that it appears as if his power has vanished. With only four homers in 62 games, he’s not setting the world on fire.

Infielder Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers baseball team. Carlos Osorio / AP

The next stumbling block Beltre is facing is his contract. Beltre is set to make $18 million this season, and whoever he goes to is likely going to have to eat a bit under $8 million of it because Texas has not shown interest in defraying any of that cost. The one way Texas might eat some of that contract is if they could move Beltre, and they do want to, as a part of a package deal where they dump two big salaries and bring in some B to B+ level prospects they can control for a few seasons. That, in all honesty, is not likely to happen, at least not if Beltre is the marquee player in the deal.

The second problem Beltre is facing is that Manny Machado is still on the market. As Bleacher Report pointed out, any serious contenders are going to go after him first. Anyone going after either of those players is basically going to look at them as a rental. Machado is younger, he is a far superior hitter at this point in their respective careers, and he is the financially cheaper option. Of course, Machado will cost significantly more in talent to acquire, but he would be worth it according to most scouts and GMs.

The Phillies had shown interest in Beltre in late June, but it is said he is not a primary target there any longer. The Red Sox and Yankees both appear to have taken a pass on him as well, meaning he has a limited number of options of teams that could be considered legitimate postseason contenders, need a 3B/DH, type guy who has lost his power, and can afford his price tag. Unless something big happens, it looks like Beltre will still be stuck in Texas in October.