Red Sox All-Star third baseman Adrian Beltre could fetch a “nice haul” on the trading block this week, according to’s Tim Dierkes. While Dierkes cautions trade mongers that Boston wouldn’t “go there” unless they believed the 2010 team had “no chance,” he also suggests Beltre could be worth more than any other Red Sox were he made available.

The Red Sox are at a fascinating and unpredictable crossroads at the 2010 trade deadline.

As Dierkes quips, a deal sending Adrian Gonzalez to Boston was supposed to be the “non-stop” topic right now. Indeed, the Red Sox and Padres have swapped roles. Sitting atop the National League West, San Diego is shopping while third-place Boston is caught between a habitual buyer’s mentality and 2010’s reality.

Although Boston is far from throwing in the towel on 2010, the pressure is on to make a decision regarding Beltre.

If the Red Sox front office comes to believe 2010 isn’t Boston’s year, they would miss a major opportunity not trading Beltre, who is sure to decline a $10 million player option for 2011.

When the Red Sox signed Beltre during the offseason, it seemed to many that Theo Epstein overpaid for the Mariners’ Gold Glove third baseman. However, after a nearly career season in Boston, Beltre will be looking for a big raise at the end of 2010.

This season, the 31-year-old All Star is hitting .333 with 16 homers and a 925 OPS. Defensively, Beltre is continuing to dominate the hot corner and currently owns a 12.5 UZR/150.

The Red Sox could keep Beltre through the season’s end. Then, either pay up on a deal around four years and $60 million or let him sign elsewhere and collect their draft picks.

On the other hand, Beltre could net top talent over the next few days. Purely speculating, but Minnesota might make an excellent match, and the Red Sox might be able to pry away top catching prospect Wilson Ramos. Other pieces might be necessary, but such a deal wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.

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