Adrian Beltre to the Cardinals? A Fantastic Move!
In his "Five Minutes" column today, the local daily's Bernie Miklasz offers up a few ideas on how the Cardinals could improve at the hot corner. The big man does a pretty stellar of job analyzing the stats behind a few trade prospects, including calling out the Coors-inflated numbers of Colorado's Garret Atkins.
Conversely, Bernie breaks down why Seattle's Adrian Beltre would be a perfect fit for the Redbirds, especially since his numbers are bogged down by playing in the spacious Safeco Field. (His other two options, Melvin Mora and Mark De Rosa are also respectable but nowhere near the caliber of Beltre.)
As a Seattle-to-St. Louis transplant -- and unabashed Beltre supporter -- allow me to opine that this would be a fantastic move for all three parties.
Beltre has always been an outstanding defensive third-baseman and while he's put up solid numbers at the plate, he's never matched the output of his MVP season with the Dodgers that earned him his big payday with Seattle. Now that he's in a contract year again, expect Beltre to blow-up big time through the second half of 2009.
Due to lofty expectations after his monster 2004 season, he's never been hugely popular with Seattle fans (his association with the Richie Sexson debacle and occasional cluelessness at the plate hasn't helped matters), so the M's front office is unlikely to re-sign him, especially since he's a Scott Boras guy who won't come cheap. That's a situation ripe for a trade.
Seattle owes him $12 million this season so they'd have to eat a whole lot of salary in order to get the Cards to bite on a deal. In exchange, the Cardinals would have to give up some primo prospects, along the lines of Brett Wallace and Chris Perez.
Is Beltre worth that, especially as a rent-a-player?
Hell yes. Not only is he switching to inferior National League pitching, he's getting inserted into a potentially killer line-up that guarantees him better pitches to hit. That, combined with his defensive prowess, makes this a no-brainer.
Oh, and his nickname is AB. How perfectly does that fit in with St. Louis?