The Philadelphia Phillies have been connected to future Hall of fame third baseman Adrian Beltre by various outlets. But a trade for the Texas Rangers third baseman looks increasingly like it will be hard to facilitate.
The 39-year-old has 10-and-5 rights, meaning he could veto any trade that the Rangers agree upon before or after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Last August, Beltre told the collective media, including Jeff Wilson of The Fort Worth Star Telegram, that he would consider trades to contending teams, but it would have to be a “perfect” scenario for him to leave the Rangers, who he has played for since 2011.
The 44-37 Phillies are three games back of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East – and currently in control of the National League’s second Wild Card spot – but objectively, the don’t project as “the perfect scenario.” This isn’t the 2011 Phillies, who appeared to be an overwhelming favorite to win the World Series. Gabe Kapler’s squad is a year ahead of schedule and might sneak into the playoffs in 2018. Might.
Saturday evening, Beltre spoke about his future, as reported on by Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. He made clear that regardless of whether he finishes the 2018 season with the Rangers, if he elects to come back for a 22nd season, he wants it to be in Arlington:
“If I’m going to play next year, I want it to be here,” Beltre said of the Rangers on Saturday. “Right now, that’s a big if. But, if I play, I think I owe it to these fans. And I want to retire as a Ranger.”
At 39, the Phillies (and any potential suitor) may view Beltre purely as a rental. Though if he helped the Phillies reach the postseason and was interested in playing in 2019, general manager Matt Klentak would presumably like to know there’s at least a chance of retaining Beltre.
Despite the fact that he’s never won a World Series – he has appeared in two during his tenure with the Rangers – Beltre doesn’t sound overly eager to leave Texas at all, even if it’s only for the final few months of the season. In fact, Wilson reported Saturday evening that there are “more than a few in the Rangers organization” that don’t think Beltre will ultimately waive his no-trade clause.
Both Jon Morosi of MLB.com and Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported on the Phillies initial interest in Beltre. Per Grant, the Phillies did have a scout at the Rangers series with the Minnesota Twins last weekend, presumably to watch Beltre.
Despite two stints on the disabled list in 2018, it’s not hard to why the Phillies have some level of interest in Beltre. In 190 at-bats this season, Beltre is slashing .311/.374/.442 with four home runs, 26 RBIs and a 4.6 offensive WAR. Morosi’s report also suggested that the Phillies think highly of the clubhouse presence that Beltre brings.
Beltre isn’t the only third baseman that the Phillies have been connected to. While there are quite a few hurdles to a potential Manny Machado trade as well – perhaps the biggest being that he wants to remain at his natural position of shortstop – Mike Moustakas of the Kansas City Royals seems like a realistic target. Earlier this month, Robert Murray of FRS Sports predicted that the Phillies would be “major players” for Moustakas, saying that scouts were “buzzing” about how good of a fit Moustakas would be for the Phillies. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported Friday the Phillies have had fairly substantive conversations with the Kansas City Royals regarding Moustakas