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Yankees Potential Trade Target: Adrian Beltre

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An opportunity to upgrade the Yankees power threat

Tom Pennington

I know what you're thinking, because I'm thinking it, too.

Another. Old. Overpriced. Veteran.

That's what Adrian Beltre is, but he's more than that, too.

Beltre would be tied with Brian McCann for second on the team in home runs, which is on pace for his lowest output in a decade, but he'd actually lead the team in slugging. His .378 OBP would lead the team by twenty points. His .332 batting average would easily be the highest on the Yankees.

And even as his defense declines from Brooks Robinson/Mike Schmidt levels, he's a significant upgrade over Yangervis Solarte/Kelly Johnson. And when I say "significant" I mean more than that word usually means.

If you think the Yankees' season has been a dumpster fire of injuries and poor performance, take a look at the Rangers' showing after a 91-win 2013 season.

With super prospect Jurickson Profar on the shelf for the rest of 2014, the Rangers may prefer to simply grind out the year and try again next season. With the trio of Beltre, Profar and Elvis Andrus locked up through 2016 (thanks to a vesting option in Beltre's contract), that move holds logic for a team clearly meant to win now.

But with nearly the entire rest of the team locked up, the Rangers may be looking for an opportunity to create space and make a change. Trading Beltre would clear up $18 million of space the Rangers might use instead on the free agent market. It would give the Yankees the obvious leverage to push A-Rod into full-time DH duty, or to cut ties with him completely.

What makes this match potentially appealing is that the Rangers, with a need at catcher (J.P. Arencibia, career bust), are one of the few clubs that match up with the Yankees' top prospects. As with any deal, there would be a lot of moving parts involved, a lot of dollars changing hands, and huge opportunities for regret, but it would certainly be a blockbuster.