With the imminent departure of World Series hero Mike Lowell to Texas, the Red Sox have a gaping hole to fill at third base. Recent speculation has them lusting after Seattle’s Adrian Beltre–who they prize for both his stellar defense and powerful bat. The theory goes that away from spacious Safeco Field, Beltre would clear and/or pound the Green Monster with reckless abandon. And, to be sure, his home/road splits buttress that view.
But, there has always been some suspicion about his spike in power numbers in 2004 (23 to 48 home runs). To be fair, he has addressed the issue head on, stating, “I’ve never used steroids. I might have been slumping these last two years, but the one thing I can say is I’ve always been clean when playing this sport. I have never cheated. I have never used amphetamines.” We have to take him at his word.
Nevertheless, there is another Adrian who should be targeted by the Red Sox–Adrian Gonzalez of the Padres. The power-hitting first baseman is only 27, clouted 40 home runs last year in cavernous PETCO Park, and sported an on-base percentage of .407. Oh, and he is a Gold Glove-caliber defender. And, there has never been a hint of juicing on Gonzalez’s part.
While getting Gonzalez would necessitate moving Kevin Youkilis to third, his history of slick play at the hot corner makes this a no-brainer.
So, Yo! Theo–get the right Adrian!