Free Agent Stock Watch: Adrian Beltre

Adrian Beltre signed a one-year, $10MM deal with the Red Sox in January, turning down three-year, $24MM offers from the Phillies and Athletics.  The Scott Boras client gambled that he'd bounce back in 2010 and exceed a two-year, $14MM deal after the season.  So far, it appears that Beltre was smart to bet on his own talent.

Beltre was expected to provide strong defense and a useful bat, perhaps a .330 OBP with 25 home runs.  Instead he's got a .330/.362/.509 line in 232 plate appearances.  He's tied for ninth in the AL with 40 RBIs; reaching 100 for the second time in his career won't hurt his earning potential.

Beltre's contract includes a 2011 player option worth $5MM, which will increase to $10MM with 640 plate appearances this year.  He's currently on pace for 637, so it'll be tight.  The $10MM option was never terribly relevant, though – if Beltre played enough to reach 640 PAs, he'd probably have a season worthy of more than a one-year, $10MM commitment.  Beltre is highly likely to decline his player option whether it's $5MM or $10MM.

I would not be surprised to see Beltre seek a four-year deal in the $50MM range at the outset of the offseason.  He'll be competing mainly with Jorge Cantu, if Aramis Ramirez's rough start compels him to exercise a $14.6MM player option.  Back in March, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein noted the possibility of signing Beltre long-term if he proves a good fit.  At the least we'll see an arbitration offer, as the third baseman currently profiles as a Type B free agent.

21 Responses to Free Agent Stock Watch: Adrian Beltre Leave a Reply

  1. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    Beltre was a great pick up for the Sox. He’s finally been healthy, and he’s in a park more suitable for hitting. I’d still be careful of signing him for too much long term; he’s had an erratic up and down career, with some injury problems.

  2. johnsilver 5 years ago

    i don’t see Epstein giving a in 2011 season a 32 YO Beltre 4/50. Several players currently ranked above him are not having good seasons and if Beltre cools off even, he could still become a Type A. Even a B would give Boston another supplemental pick and allow them to move Youkillis over to 1B next season and find a more easily found 3B next season. More options than over paying for beltre and getting into extended negotiations with a Boras clients that will be dragging out.

    • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

      Yeah, I don’t think the Sox are even in the mix in terms of signing Beltre after this season.

      • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

        Which brings up the question, Who’s on third in 2011? Sure there’s Youk, but he’s much more of a first baseman now. And as much as I’d like to think we can trade for Gonzalez (much more unlikely now) or Fielder, odds are the Sox can’t match on the price. Buchholz is officially untouchable, Westmoreland’s brain surgery pretty much means he’s not a trade chip until he starts playing again, which leaves Kelly to headline any major trade and my bet is Theo would be reluctant to let Kelly go. Basically I think Theo might be forced to give Beltre a contract that will have problems on the back end, or trade Kelly to get a corner infielder with power.

        • BoSoXaddict 5 years ago

          With Beltre almost certain to be gone next year, it will definitely be interesting to see how the corner IF positions work out. Since it appears fairly unlikely that we have the pieces to trade for A.Gonz, Cabrera or Fielder..I’m thinking about our internal options. I’ve heard rumblings that if they can’t pick someone up they might consider moving Youk to 3rd and letting Lars or Rizzo get a shot at 1st. Or, now that Victor’s bat is really heating up, maybe they work out an extension with him that sees him as a 1B/DH rather than a catcher?

          • ELPinchy 5 years ago

            Lars (hitting .240 in AAA) and Rizzo are not ready, you are more likely to see Jose Iglesias at SS and Scutaro slide over to 3rd or Lowrie if he is healthy. That is if they go internally.

          • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

            Lowrie at third makes sense, but no idea what kind of production to expect from the guy at this point.

          • ELPinchy 5 years ago

            I remember thinking that he actually looked better at 3rd. I’d be willing to see what he could do for a season.

            I think that the 2011 season is going to be a very different looking team. Tek,vmart,Beltre,Lowell and Ortiz all possibly gone and more of that supposed bumper crop a year or more away. They won’t probably want to get stuck with any long term contracts, so they might entirely shy away form anything but short term low-rish/high-reward types. So, in other words,they might as well give Lowrie a look unless they shift focus to short term success.

          • johnsilver 5 years ago

            If Lowrie comes back this year, or even next year and can manage to put a full season together even without missing any time, does anyone think he can put up the XBH numbers Boston would want from the 3B position?

            I mistakenly edited the 1st post above incorrect when had it right to start with.. Even though it would hurt defense some, Youkilis going to 3b will probably be the easiest way to fix that problem and signing/acquiring a 1B easier.

  3. 04Forever 5 years ago

    its been a great offensive pick up of all things. writers were howling about the defense, but that has been lacking and the bat he has shown this year will probably rival his career year numbers, who would have thought. plus as an added bonus, his antics make him funny to watch (ie, always calling off others to catch a ball, even if he runs into right field to catch something, knocking over players to catch a ball and always asking the ump at first for a strike call check, always)

  4. bigpat 5 years ago

    I’m just going to state the obvious and say I don’t see him having another offensive season like this. I give him credit for hitting well this year, but I think it’s a perfect storm of things working out for him. And he’s mashing in another one of those contract years. Just hope another team doesn’t give him a huge deal in a pitcher’s park. I could see him sustaining his skills somewhat in Boston though.

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      Career BABIP: .293
      BABIP last season in LA: .325
      BABIP this season in BOS: .367

      Which GM is going to fall for this again?

      • ReverendBlack 5 years ago

        Sandoval and Wright will be friggen saviors for SF and NY this offseason.

        • Zack23 5 years ago

          They can move Sandoval to 1B, so no lock there.

          Not to say Beltre isnt a good player, great defense, but investing 50m into him now? Yeah no thanks.

  5. greatpiino 5 years ago

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sox find something like a 2-year filler piece until either Lars Anderson or the 3B they just drafted is ready. Of course, that’s presumptuous for me to say.

  6. ellisburks 5 years ago

    Pedro was asking too much for an older pitcher and they cut ties. Seems like the right position considering what he pitched like afterwards. Big Papi will be gone if he doesn’t hit, like I hope any player will be as we don’t want players like that REGARDLESS of race.They have Mike Cameron in centre at the moment and I am pretty sure he isn’t white. Ellsbury is Native American.And Pierce has been with Boston for 12 years, how much more time do you want to give them?I am not saying there isn’t prejudice but it doesn’t help when you manufacture more of it.

  7. ellisburks 5 years ago

    Jim Rice, Paul Pierce, Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz would like a word with you.

  8. ilikebaseball 5 years ago

    “The Papster, he’d be gone if he hadn’t start to hit. He will be gone as soon as he stops.”So, let me get this straight. When David Ortiz is no longer on the Red Sox because he won’t be able to hit, that will be a racist decision? Wow, I feel stupid. I would think it would be BECAUSE THE DH COULDN’T HIT ANYMORE. But you’re right, Theo should totally sign Papi to a lifetime contract because he’s from the Dominican Republic. Your crusade is terribly misguided and short sighted.

    Edit: I’m not saying there has never been racism in Boston. I’m just saying there’s been racism everywhere and to harp on it in Boston while ignoring it in other parts of the country doesn’t solve the problem.

  9. ilikebaseball 5 years ago

    No, you shouldn’t continue. But then again, you shouldn’t have started.


  10. NepotismIsDomesticTerrorism 5 years ago

    Yes, the Racist History of Beantown and New England Proper is rather depressing.

    True, yet depressing.

  11. ELPinchy 5 years ago

    Please don’t use anything from the Yawkeys in your argument, they were from Georgia not Boston.

    Also,please stop posting on the subject here.It really isn’t the place.

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