McAdam: Drew's injury won't push Beltran deal


McAdam: Drew's injury won't push Beltran deal

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
On the very same day in which it was learned that outfielder J.D. Drew is going on the disabled list Monday with an inpingement in his left shoulder, New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran was quoted -- again -- saying that he would appove a trade to the Red Sox, as long as they didn't intend to use him as the DH.

Beltran, aware that Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Texas and Boston are the teams most closely associated with him in trade talks, said he had no problem going to any of the clubs.

"Yeah, if that happens,'' said Beltran, ''I would love to be with one of those teams."

It might seem that those two events are related -- one outfielder being injured and lost for at least the next few weeks, and the best available outfielder on the trade market reiterating that, yes, he would forego his no-trade clause and agree to be traded to Boston.

In truth, the two are unrelated.

To begin with, it wasn't as if Drew was going to be playing regularly in right field, or anywhere else, for the Red Sox over the final two-plus months this season.

Drew had been in the starting lineup just four times in the nine games since the All-Star break and those decisions weren't related to his ailing shoulder.

Quietly and without any sort of official announcement, Drew had, in effect, lost his starting job in right. Terry Francona never made that public, but then, that's not his habit. He didn't make any sort of grand pronouncement back in April when Jed Lowrie had dislodged Marco Scutaro as the starting shortstop, either. It was left for everyone else to draw that conclusion.

The fact is, Drew would have started once or twice a week the rest of the way, and perhaps been used as a late-inning defensive replacement. With rosters expanded in September, his role -- beyond that of his defense -- might have been reduced even further.

So, Drew going on the DL isn't a a move that impacts the big picture. It merely makes it easier for Francona to play Reddick without having to explan why Drew was out of the lineup.

As for Beltran, the very fact that four other teams in contention (Phillies, Braves, Giants and Rangers) remain very much interested in dealing for him makes it that much more likely that the Red Sox won't.

The more competition that exists for Beltran, the more the Mets can ask for in return. As potentially dicey as it may be to have two teams in their own division with interest in Beltran, such competition only enhances their bargaining position.

The Braves don't want Beltran to be the missing piece for the Phils, while the Phils don't want Beltran to be the difference for the Braves making up ground in the division.

If the Red Sox thought the asking price on Beltran was too much a week or so ago, it's not about to come down now with four other teams still involved -- each one of them more desperate to improve their lineup.

The Red Sox have played almost .700 baseball (60-27) since beginning the season 2-12 despite getting almost nothing out of right field all year. Their collective OPS from right field is .637, 13th in the league.

Given that, how much incentive is there to further thin out their farm system to win a bidding war against four other contenders?

Answer: none.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Merloni: Pablo Sandoval is the key to the bottom of Red Sox order

Merloni: Pablo Sandoval is the key to the bottom of Red Sox order

The guys on The Baseball Show discuss Pablo Sandoval lighting it up in spring training and if he could continue that in the regular season.

Sale hurls five shutout innings, Sandoval has two hits as Sox romp, 7-2

Sale hurls five shutout innings, Sandoval has two hits as Sox romp, 7-2

Chris Sale threw five shutout innings and Pablo Sandoval continued his torrid spring with two more hits as the Red Sox routed the Twins, 7-2, Sunday at the Twins' Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Twins box score

Sale allowed six hits, with one walk and six strikeouts, in his 91-pitch outing. Manager John Farrell had told reporters before the game that Sale was scheduled to throw between 95 and 100 pitches. He has 26 strikeouts and 2 walks in 21 spring-training innings.

Sandoval lifted his exhibition average to .370 with a 2-for-3 performance, which included a double.

The Red Sox also got home runs from Christian Vazquez, Andrew Benintendi and Steve Selsky as they rallied from a 1-0 deficit with three runs in the seventh inning and four in the eighth.