According to Ben Maller, the Mariners are considering trading Adrian Beltre to clear room on the payroll for Barry Zito.
While he hasn’t lived up to expectations as a Mariner, Beltre may yet earn his contract. He’s only 28 next year, and his .285/.340/.552 line after the break fosters hope. He also plays superb defense by most accounts. If Beltre, a Scott Boras client, were a free agent right now, would he top three years, $36MM? Certainly.
Given that the Mariners don’t have a viable replacement for Beltre, shopping him seems unwise. The Padres wanted him back in July, but they’ve since acquired Kevin Kouzmanoff. Just speculating, but the Orioles could make some sense.
UPDATE: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold confirms this rumor at the bottom of his column today, but doesn’t have details.