Two of them, Matt Holliday and Mike Gonzalez, have been rumored to go to the Red Sox numerous times. The other two, Adrian Beltre and Rick Ankiel, have never before been even thought as potential acquisitions.
Ankiel, the former pitcher turned center fielder, would probably be a better option than Beltre, who's been less than stellar these past few seasons with the Seattle Mariners.
With the potential of former Red Sox left fielder Jason Bay returning to Boston looking bleaker and bleaker, the Red Sox are looking into potential replacement left fielders. They have already acquired former Florida Marlins left fielder Jeremy Hermida for two middle relief pitching prospects, Hunter Jones, and Jose Alvarez.
I'd be fine if the Red Sox signed Ankiel. It's the potential Beltre acquisition that I don't like.
The Seattle Mariners paid through the nose for Beltre, who was coming off a 48 home run season.
The Mariners devoted $11 million to Beltre's first season in Seattle. By the end of his contract, the Mariners had devoted $64 million to Beltre. He never hit above .276. He never had more than 99 RBI. He never hit more than 26 home runs.
Beltre was a $64 million mistake for the Mariners. I don't want him to be an under-$10 million mistake for the Red Sox.
It's clear that Beltre hasn't been able to handle American League pitching in his four seasons in the AL.
Ankiel would likely be cheaper than Beltre, even if he is a Scott Boras client. Ankiel is coming off his worst season since his comeback in 2007, hitting .231 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI. He also played in 122 games in 2009, his most since his comeback.
Is Ankiel on the decline? Maybe. He might be in a Rocco Baldelli position for the Red Sox. Baldelli provided a few solid games for the Red Sox last season in a utility outfield role.
I would rather have Bay, Matt Holliday, or Hermida start in front of Ankiel. However, if Bay and Holliday both sign elsewhere, Ankiel might be a last option for another outfielder.
Personally, I don't like either Beltre or Ankiel coming to Boston. They both seem overrated and overpriced. And, they have Scott Boras as their agent. And Red Sox Nation knows how much Scott Boras and Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein have butted heads in the past. Among the notable Boras-Red Sox cons, Johnny Damon leaving the Red Sox after the 2005 season to join with the arch-rival New York Yankees.
This is definitely not the first, nor will be the last, time the Red Sox will have to deal with "super-agent" Scott Boras.