Monday, July 18, 2011

Red Sox Must Look Seriously at Beltran

Carl Crawford is finally back in the starting lineup for the Red Sox tonight against the Orioles, which means that the Red Sox are putting their Opening Day lineup on the field for the first time in awhile.  That doesn't mean however, that the front office can't make a change which would make the Sox lineup even more dangerous.  With the additions of Crawford and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, the Sox were supposed to field a lineup without any holes.  However, throughout the 2011 season whichever player has started in right field has been a liability.  J.D. Drew, who normally can be relied upon for around twenty homers, has had a pitiful season.  Through two bats tonight, Drew is only hitting .223 with four homers and 22 RBIs this season.  Darnell McDonald has an even worse batting average, .149, in 74 at-bats this season.  24 year-old Josh Reddick has been relatively successful in 71 at-bats this season, but he is only 6-29 in his last 10 games.

That leads to the question, who should GM Theo Epstein go after?  Obviously, Epstein could trade for a player like Josh Willingham or Jeff Francoeur, but in my opinion that wouldn't be much of an upgrade over Drew.  The best option for Boston is to seriously consider trading for Carlos Beltran of the Mets.  Beltran has shown this season that he can still be an all-star caliber player, batting .287/.381/.512 with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs.  He is also a switch-hitter, and while he hasn't been hitting particularly well against lefties this season he his a career .291 hitter against them.

Sure, the Red Sox are good enough that they should make the playoffs with the lineup they currently have.  However, making the playoffs is not their team goal.  The goal is another World Series title.  The slogan on their website is "We won't rest until order has been restored."  Anything less than a World Series with the product the Sox have put on the field would be a disappointment.  In the mind of Theo Epstein a Drew/Reddick/McDonald combo in right field should not be considered good enough to go all the way.  The Sox have the money to help the Mets pay Beltran's contract, and adding his bat would make their lineup truly daunting. They should try as hard as possible to pull the trigger.

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