3 Teams That Will Pursue Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett on Waivers
Jon Heyman of CBSSports tweeted on Thursday that the club had put Beckett on waivers, noting that he did not expect anyone to claim the highly-paid, under-performing pitcher.
Josh Beckett is on trade waivers now. Competing execs don't expect him to be claimed. #redsox
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) August 23, 2012
Sean McAdam of CSN New England tweeted Wednesday afternoon that the team had placed Gonzalez on waivers, and wondered if that could mean the team is willing to shop him this winter.
Source: Sox placed Adrian Gonzalez on trade waivers today. Pretty standard stuff in Aug., but perhaps willing to listen on him this winter?
— Sean McAdam(@Sean_McAdam) August 22, 2012
At this point in the season, teams placing high-priced veterans on waivers is nothing new and both players certainly fit the bill.
Beckett, who has struggled this season to a 5-11 record and 5.23 ERA, makes $15.75 million this season and is due another $31.5 million over the next two seasons.
Gonzalez on the other hand has remained one of the team's most productive hitters, with a .301 BA, 15 HR and 85 RBI on the season and playing Gold Glove caliber defense at first. He signed a seven-year, $154 million extension last season and makes $21 million annually through 2016 and $21.5 million in 2017 and 2018.
The Red Sox are likely just gauging the market on both players, but if a team comes at them with a knockout offer for either player, they could certainly pull the trigger on a deal.
Beckett has struggled this season, but he has an intriguing track record as a big-game pitcher, which could be enough for someone to make a run at acquiring him. In 14 postseason games (13 starts), he's gone 7-3 with a 3.07 ERA, including three shutouts and he was named 2003 World Series MVP and 2007 ALCS MVP.
Here's a look at three teams who could be interested in the 32-year-old former ace in hopes he could regain his dominant form. Chances are any deal in which he moves would be similar to the Alex Rios deal a few years back when the Blue Jays simply gave him to the White Sox for the sake of unloading his contract.
The Dodgers took a chance on Joe Blanton via waivers, and it has not worked out at all thus far, as he's gone 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in four starts since joining the team.
As of now, my best guess is that the Dodgers will move Stephen Fife back to the rotation once rosters expand and Blanton will be released. However, with the team looking as though they are all in this season, they are the most likely to go after Beckett.
Where Will Josh Beckett Be On Opening Day 2013?
Injuries have been a constant issue in the Rangers rotation this season, as Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish have been the only two starters who have not missed time.
Acquisitions Roy Oswalt and Ryan Dempster have not been the answer to this point, and with Rangers looking to make it to their third straight World Series, Beckett could be the answer to shoring up their staff in the final month.
This one is admittedly a bit of a long shot, as the Tigers may not want to make the financial commitment to Beckett beyond this season with prospects like Casey Crosby, Andrew Oliver and Drew Smyly likely vying for a rotation spot next year.
However, deadline acquisition Anibal Sanchez has not been the answer to shoring up the staff and with Doug Fister battling injury and both Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer still wildly inconsistent, a Beckett deal is not out of the question.
After five seasons in San Diego where he ranked among the game's most underrated players, Gonzalez joined the Red Sox in an offseason deal prior to last season that shipped three players to San Diego.
He had a terrific first season in Boston last year, hitting .354 with 17 HR and 77 RBI in the first half before cooling off a bit to finish with a .338 BA, 27 HR, 117 RBI line. His power is down a bit this year, but he remains one of the top first baseman in baseball.
Whether or not the team is actually willing to move him remains to be seen, and whether anyone is willing to take on the six years and $127 million remaining is also a major question. However, here are three teams who could be willing to ante up to acquire the slugger.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Yep, the Dodgers again as they have seemingly been linked to anyone and everyone available on the market.
According to Chris Cwik of CBSSports, the Dodgers and Red Sox had talks regarding Gonzalez at the deadline although they were never serious. It would likely take parting with top pitching prospects Zach Lee and Allen Webster among others, but Gonzalez would be a huge upgrade over James Loney.
Where Will Adrian Gonzalez Be On Opening Day 2013?
The Mariners were viewed as one of the front-runners to land Prince Fielder this past offseason, as they lack a true impact player in the middle of their lineup. They are loaded with young talent and a deal for Gonzalez would likely mean dealing one of their big three pitching prospects Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton.
To this point, Justin Smoak has been a flop and simply does not make enough contact to tap into his power. The Mariners have stuck to a youth movement to this point, building from within, but a deal like this could be what expedites their move back to contention.
This is an absolutely terrifying proposition for the other 29 teams to say the least, but one of the few areas of weakness in the Rangers lineup is first base, although Mitch Moreland (.289 BA, 13 HR, 38 RBI) has been solid when healthy this season.
With Mike Napoli and Josh Hamilton headed for free agency, the team could look to keep their offense at the top of the heap by dealing for Gonzalez. Money isn't really an issue in Texas, but whether or not they could put together a good enough package with Jurickson Profar no doubt untouchable remains to be seen.
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