It all started so innocently. Adrian Beltre came to the Boston Red Sox in 2010 on a one year free agent deal. No one could foresee that the curse was on its way.

Beltre was the biggest bright spot on the 2010 Red Sox. Signed to a 9$ million one year deal, Beltre had a monster season for the Sox, hitting .321/.365/.553 with 28 home runs in his 154 games. Combined with his defense, he turned in a 7.4 WAR season, the fourth highest in the American League.

Heading into the offseason after 2010, the Sox management had an interesting decision to make. Should they re-sign Beltre to play third base and keep Kevin Youkilis at first base, or let Beltre walk and continue to pursue Adrian Gonzalez? To their everlasting regret, the Sox management decided to pursue Gonzalez, and The Curse of Adrian Beltre was born.

 

Don't touch his head... he'll curse you! Photo by Kelly O'Connor, sittingstill.net

Don’t touch his head… he’ll curse you! Photo by Kelly O’Connor, sittingstill.net

 

Since November of 2010 when Adrian Beltre filed for free agency, here are just a few of the transactions the Red Sox have made:

-          December 2010 Red Sox trade for Adrian Gonzalez

-          December 2010 Red Sox sign Carl Crawford

-          December 2010 Red Sox sign Bobby Jenks

-          July 2011 Red Sox trade for Erik Bedard

-          December 2011 Red Sox trade Jed Lowrie for Mark Melancon

-          December 2011 Red Sox trade Josh Reddick for Andrew Bailey

Yikes what a horror show! My hands were shaking as I typed that list.

I’m not seriously suggesting that Adrian Beltre has cursed the Boston Red Sox. Why would Beltre want to curse the Red Sox in the first place? Much like Babe Ruth, he has gone on to more success with his new team then he had with the Red Sox. But the Red Sox haven’t been to the postseason since he left the team. I’m just sayin’.

The first mistake may have been letting Beltre leave. I certainly didn’t see any red flags in acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, but the argument can be made that having Beltre at third base andKevin Youkilis at first base is a much stronger defensive lineup. The move for Gonzalez also shifted Youkilis to a tougher position at a time when he was already recovering from an injury. I would argue that this move prematurely ended Youk’s time in Boston.

That doesn’t even take into account the contract difference. Texas signed Beltre for five years and 80$ million, while the Sox gave Gonzalez a seven year 154$ million deal. Then they decided they needed even more offense and signed Carl Crawford to his massive deal, a move that I’m sure haunts Theo Epstein to this day.

Letting Beltre go and trading for Gonzalez wasn’t the nail in the coffin for the 2011 and 2012 Red Sox teams. It was, however, one of many moves that showed a shift away from the front office philosophies that had brought World Series titles in 2004 and 2007. There has certainly been some bad luck involved, but many of these moves were seen as problematic from the time they were made.

Hopefully the trade with the Dodgers in August ended the period of front office mistakes. The Sox seem primed for a return to their former player development ways. But if Stephen Drew continues to get hurt, Jonny Gomes’ hamstring snaps and flys over the Green Monster, and Ryan Dempster suffers a freak luggage accident, we will all know who to blame: Adrian Beltre.

 

Categories: 2004 World Series 2007 World Series Adrian Beltre Adrian Gonzalez Bobby Jenks Carl Crawford Erik Bedard Jed Lowrie Jonny Gomes Josh Reddick Kevin Youkilis Ryan Dempster Stephen Drew Theo Epstein

I've been a Red Sox fan since before birth, as my mom was watching the '75 World Series while pregnant with me. 1986 was a major life trauma, but I have always been a fan who believed that "next year" was the year. That faith was finally rewarded in 2004, and again in 2007, coincidentally the last 2 years that I have seen games in Fenway Park. I now follow the Sox from Texas, and love that I will see them in person in Houston this season. Follow Josh on Twitter here

4 Responses to “The Curse of Adrian Beltre?” Subscribe

  1. gmen23 March 22, 2013 at 6:21 PM #

    Honestly out of the transactions you listed the only ones that would "make my hands shake" are the Crawford and Jenks deals. Gonzalez was, is, and will continue to be a GG 1B and .300 100rbi 30hr guy. Bedard didn't pitch that badly when he was a rental player in Boston. Lowrie is consistently hurt to this day and Melancon was flipped to get Hanrahan. Finally Reddick had 1 good half of a season and was awful in the 2nd half and if Bailey can pitch like he has in the past he will be flipped into something while adding depth at closer in the meantime.

  2. Aitch March 23, 2013 at 2:00 AM #

    But let's not forget that the compensation pick the Sox received for Beltre was . . . Jackie Bradley Jr.

  3. Gerry March 23, 2013 at 12:37 PM #

    What a Gordion Knot. Gonzo, who I wished for early, cost us Rizzo at 1B and Casey Kelly (TJS) among others. But Gonzo also brought DLR and Webster. Having Beltre would have blocked WMB as well as possibly Bogaerts and Cecchini. That's all in the past. The present is full of anticipation. The near future will add Bradley, Bogaerts, Brentz, Webster, DLR, Wilson, Barnes and others, and is already a bright light. Yay! The key is to enjoy the now, the process that is 2013 at every level in the Sox system, and marvel as this future unfolds. That is worthy of a good tremble.

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