Braves, Rangers have discussed Beltre deal
The Braves and Rangers have discussed a trade that would send Adrian Beltre to Atlanta, sources said on Monday, but it's unclear if there's enough momentum to complete a deal before Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Beltre, 39, has full no-trade protection, and he has not indicated publicly whether he would accept a deal to the Braves -- especially considering Johan Camargo's emergence as Atlanta's everyday third baseman.
Camargo has started at third base in 19 of the Braves' past 20 games and has a .738 OPS over that span, during which Atlanta is 7-13, so Beltre could have a role starting against left-handed pitchers.
Camargo's .880 OPS against lefties this season is better than Beltre's .807. Still, Beltre is one of the sport's most revered players, and his clubhouse leadership would be especially valuable on a Braves team that has been rebuilt since the franchise's last postseason appearance in 2013.
Beltre would be more inclined to agree to a deal to go to the Red Sox (for whom he played in 2010), Astros and possibly Indians, a source told MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. However, it is not known if there has been serious dialogue with any of those clubs. Given Rafael Devers' recent trip to the disabled list, Boston could make some sense.
Similarly, the Cubs are an intriguing possibility for Beltre, given Kristopher Bryant's recent trip to the disabled list, although it's unclear if the sides are actively discussing a trade. Beltre played for Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein in Boston.
Last year provided a glimpse into the ways that veteran players utilize the type of full no-trade protection Beltre possesses. Initially, Justin Verlander was reluctant to approve last year's trade to the Astros, as long as his preferred destinations -- the Dodgers and Cubs -- theoretically were in play. It was only after the Dodgers and Cubs did not meet the Tigers' asking prices that Verlander approved the move to Houston on Aug. 31, mere seconds before the deadline for postseason eligibility.
Beltre has not said whether he will play in 2019, and many in the industry believe he would accept a trade in order to pursue a World Series ring for possibly the final time. Beltre has said he wants to retire as a Ranger, but perhaps that could be achieved by signing a one-day Minor League contract.
Beltre ranks 15th in Major League history with 2,887 games played. Only Carl Yastrzemski, Ty Cobb, Barry Bonds, Omar Vizquel and Rusty Staub have appeared in more games without playing in a victorious World Series.