Adrian Beltre left one defense-oriented team for another today and signed with the Red Sox. When he signed a five-year $64MM deal with the Mariners in 2004, Beltre was coming off a 48 homer season. Last year, he hit just eight homers, but his well-deserved reputation as one of the game's elite defenders earned him $9MM for the upcoming season and the chance to make even more in 2011.
Beltre, 31 in April, will earn a $7MM salary in 2010, in addition to a $2MM signing bonus. He has a player option for 2011 that's worth at least $5MM and will reach $10MM if Beltre makes 640 plate appearances this season. There's also a $1MM buy-out for 2011. It's not a lot of guaranteed money, but Beltre and agent Scott Boras could lobby for a long-term deal if Beltre re-establishes his offensive value in Fenway Park this year.
Jon Heyman tweeted that Beltre was close to a deal with the Red Sox and Buster Onley tweeted some details of the agreement before Tim Brown of Yahoo tweeted that Beltre had "reached an agreement" with the Red Sox. Peter Gammons, Peter Abraham, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, WEEI's Rob Bradford and Alex Speier followed up with the details.
According to the Boston Herald's John Tomase, Beltre turned down both a three-year and four-year deal in order to sign with the Red Sox. Rosenthal says Beltre turned down a pair of three-year, $24MM offers this offseason, apparently from the Phillies and A's. We'll see if he ultimately beats that amount over 2010-12.
The Mariners obtain a supplementary rounder in next year's draft for losing Beltre, who turned down their offer of arbitration.
Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.