Potential Suitors For Adrian Beltre

Adrian Beltre will be one of the most sought-after free agent position players if and when he declines his player option for 2011. Always a strong defender, Beltre has the Gold Gloves and exceptional UZR numbers to back up his reputation. This year, Beltre's hitting again; he has 20 homers to go along with a .333/.369/.565 line. Last winter, after a disappointing offensive season, Beltre fielded multi-year offers. There's no doubt that he and agent Scott Boras will see more of those trickle in this offseason. Here's an early look at some teams that could have interest in the 31-year-old:

  • Red Sox – Kevin Youkilis gives the Red Sox the flexibility to pursue a first baseman or a third baseman. Beltre obviously fits on the Red Sox and it's never safe to underestimate Boston's spending power.
  • Blue Jays – Edwin Encarnacion has power, but little defensive value. He's a non-tender candidate and the Jays presumably have Beltre on their radar as a possible replacement.
  • Tigers – The Tigers have money to spend and needs to address this offseason, as MLBTR's Tim Dierkes pointed out earlier today. Beltre could fit in Detroit, a destination of choice for many Boras clients.
  • Angels – Brandon Wood was supposed to be the solution, but has struggled mightily at the plate. He, Maicer Izturis and Kevin Frandsen could be enough for the Angels, but the Halos may be tempted by Beltre's two-way play.
  • Mariners – The last time Beltre hit free agency after a massive year, the Mariners spent big. Jack Zduriencik wasn't the team's GM back then, and he probably won't be the GM who signs Beltre this winter. Though Jose Lopez and Matt Tuiasosopo don't compare to Beltre, minor league third basemen Alex Liddi and Matt Mangini are both hitting well in the upper minors.
  • A's – The A's, who tend to be tentative with long-term deals, offered Beltre a multi-year deal last offseason. That says Billy Beane & Co. like the veteran third baseman a lot.

The Yankees (Alex Rodriguez), Rays (Evan Longoria), Orioles (Josh Bell), White Sox (Dayan Viciedo), Twins (Danny Valencia), Royals (Mike Moustakas), Rangers (Michael Young), Braves (Chipper Jones), Phillies (Placido Polanco), Mets (David Wright), Nationals (Ryan Zimmerman), Cardinals (David Freese), Reds (Scott Rolen), Brewers (Casey McGehee), Pirates (Pedro Alvarez), Cubs (Aramis Ramirez), Dodgers (Casey Blake), Giants (Pablo Sandoval), Rockies (Ian Stewart), Padres (Chase Headley) and Diamondbacks (Mark Reynolds) all have viable big league third basemen under team control in 2011. That's not to say that those teams won't create room for Beltre and enter the bidding. It would only take one or two trades or injuries to change the list of suitors.

At this point, the Marlins, Astros (who have the red-hot Chris Johnson) and Indians (who have Wes Hodges and Jared Goedert) don't seem likely to spend big on free agents this winter.


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72 Comments on "Potential Suitors For Adrian Beltre"


5 years 17 days ago

I have to assume that the Sox will do everything they can to keep him. And I’m sure they will.

5 years 17 days ago

The salient point is really a question of whether Boston is able to land A Gonz. If they can get there hands on him (or someone similar??) then I bet they slide Youk back and don’t both dumping the money in to Beltre. Who knows though, maybe they take all three and rotate Youk between the positions and DH (seems unlikely).

5 years 17 days ago

My dream would be that the Dodgers go for Beltre and put Blake on the bench. Casey’s declining, and his ability to play the corner infield and left-field could provide much needed flexibility, especially with Jamey Carroll still in the fold. But alas, Frank won’t spend a dime, so we’re stuck with the Beard at third next year.

That, and because of what happened after 2004, I highly doubt the Dodgers would be interested in pursuing Beltre again.

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 17 days ago

I would not be surprised if (assuming Beltre opts out) the A’s make a VERY strong push for him. They are a few bats away from contending, and Beltre definitely helps them out.

5 years 17 days ago

I don’t think Beltre wants anything to do with the AL West. His numbers at AL West parks in 2009? Oakland Coliseum: .150 .227 .200 Safeco Field: .250 .283 .364 Angel’s Stadium: .289 .341 .342 Ballpark at Arlington .280 .308 .560. Texas is the only place he hit. He hit for zero power in Anaheim. The Coliseum killed him. Safeco is just bad for Beltre. I just don’t see him going to any team that plays regularly in Seattle or Oakland. My guess is he stays in Boston. Detroit would be number 2. I’m hoping Detroit spends their cash on Lee, though.

boy9988
5 years 17 days ago

There is no way Seattle brings him back and there is no way he agrees to come back. Take the M’s off the list.

grant77
5 years 17 days ago

You should know, Ben, how great Encarnacion has played on D since being recalled.

$1519287
5 years 17 days ago

Yeah, he’s not a good defender in the least.

– BNS

grant77
5 years 17 days ago

I’m sorry, I thought you actually watched Jays games. Excellent range as always and a very reliable arm (I think only 1 throwing error) since being recalled. It’s easy to base your opinion on reputation, but watch some games if you get a chance.

$1519287
5 years 17 days ago

grant77, with respect, I am not at all convinced.

– BNS

Sniderlover
5 years 17 days ago

He’s been better but nothing more than average at best.

Personally, I wouldn’t want the Jays to go after Beltre. He is 31 and it’s not like we’re contending next year or anything and he will most likely regress, not to mention he would just be too expensive.

5 years 17 days ago

Every player will have stretches of defensive brilliance. His good defense lately more than likely won’t continue.

jwredsox
5 years 17 days ago

This is why I don’t like fans who judge “great range”. The reason is simply you saw that one ball to the left that he made a good play on and just got to it but you never know had another 3B made that play he could have gotten to that ball with time to spare. Use defensive metrics or prove you are a really good scout because other than that you’re no different than the people who gave Jeter gold gloves.

jwredsox
5 years 17 days ago

And on the defensive metric part. His UZR is a below average -1.4
Beltre’s on the other hand is 7.2

HerbertAnchovy
5 years 17 days ago

Reliable arm?! Agreed, he has been better as of late, but he isn’t reliable in the least. I cringe everytime he throws to first.

moonraker45
5 years 17 days ago

He’s made stride with his whole game since being sent to AAA

5 years 17 days ago

I will also concede to you that he has been better, but he has still had his ass saved countless times by Lyle at first. Lyle can really dig those balls out of the dirt.

Guest
5 years 17 days ago

I have to think the Braves will make a very strong push for Beltre if Chipper retires. They’ll have $15 million coming off the books from Chipper alone, desperately need to shore up their defense at the position and desperately need RH power. The guy fits the team like a glove.

5 years 17 days ago

amen.

IHateJoeBuck
5 years 17 days ago

That knee injury to Chipper last night might have been the last straw. Sad, sad day…

Mdey
5 years 17 days ago

I think the Giants might make a run at him. They would move Sandoval to first where he is better suited to play.

dodgers1994
5 years 17 days ago

that would be nice for u guys and shitty for us

portmexjr96
5 years 17 days ago

Let’s say the A’s get him what about kevin kouzmanoff?

5 years 17 days ago

After his stint with the Mariners, I can’t see Beltre going ANYWHERE that is not a hitter’s ballpark. Going back to the M’s is almost a guaranteed no in my view.

5 years 17 days ago

Boston is going to sign Beltre. They’ll probably extend him the 3+ years and hopefully get something like 4/48 done. They might do 3/45. With his defense, even when his batting average inevitably drops, he’ll still be a good 3B. Boston doesn’t really have any 3B prospects in their system that are going to be impact players in the next 3-4 years. (Maybe Vitek, but he’s still pretty far away).

5 years 17 days ago

That seems much too expensive. If you are going to start spending that kind of money, you might be better off moving Youk back and getting a power hitting 1B

VoteForPrado
5 years 17 days ago

Chipper’s retiring after the season, and there’s no obvious replacement for him. After what Conrad just did, I’m not so opposed to him taking over! (only joking)

Anyways, Beltre makes tons of sense, and I could see Frank Wren investing a majority of his extra cash to go after a Chipper replacement rather than an OF.

roberty
5 years 17 days ago

Beltre would be a perfect upgrade when Chip retires. Great defense, consistent hitter (as long as he isn’t playing at safeco field) we could probably afford to sign him for a couple years.

I love Conrad, I wouldn’t mind seeing him with an everyday job, I think he could hit 20+ HR with regular playing time, but his BA probably wouldn’t get over .240. He is really fun to watch play. He plays great defense. That throw to end the game was Furcalesque.

jwredsox
5 years 17 days ago

Why is it a given fact that Youk can make a successful transition to 3B long term. He is getting older and 3B is a whole different monster than 1st. He can obviously do it short term but I’m not convinced he can over a full season. Only way I think it can be offset is if they go after a legit 1B like fielder or A-Gonz (please A-gonz). If not they should just go after a 3B with Beltre on the top of their list.

MaineSox
5 years 17 days ago

Definitely agree, at this point in Youk’s career I think there are only a handfull of players in the game that you move him to 3B for. They will likely make a push for AGonz and if they don’t get that done I think they try to resign Beltre.

and yes, please not Fielder…

IHateJoeBuck
5 years 17 days ago

People act like Youkilis is some scrub over at 1B. He’s proven over the last few years that he’s an elite 1B, both offensively and defensively. Is it out of the question that Boston re-signs Beltre AND goes after Fielder or Gonzalez? They’ll have an opening at DH once they decline Ortiz’s option. I think they let V-Mart walk and get a more reliable defensive catcher, while upgrading the offense elsewhere.

MaineSox
5 years 16 days ago

No one said Youk was a scrub at 1B, I actually said there are only a few players in the game who you move him out for first base for, kind of the opposite…Why would Fielder or Ganzalez want to DH at this point in their careers, especially considering how much less a DH makes compared to 1B, and they are both considered top tier first baseman.

IHateJoeBuck
5 years 16 days ago

Right, you didn’t say that. I’ve just heard it from a lot of other fans.

They wouldn’t necessarily become full-time DHs. Youk and Beltre have had their fair share of DL stints over the years, plus the injuries this year proved that there’s no such thing as too much depth.

They both might consider primarily DHing because they’d have a better shot at the playoffs than their current situations. And let’s face it, they’re both looking at $17-20M/yr deals, whether they’re at 1B or DH. I know the market for DHs has gone down the last few years, but that’s because those guys couldn’t play anywhere else. Fielder and A-Gonz are both perfectly capable of playing 1B.

ournextcontestant
5 years 17 days ago

Angels have Callaspo for the next few years.

moonraker45
5 years 17 days ago

As much as EE isn’t a long term solution at 3rd. I don’t see the Jays touching him AB. If they are going to go get a new 3rd baseman, he would have to be a lead off type batter so bautista can stay in the field.

Unless of course they look for a leadoff outfielder and move jbau to 3rd. but i really, as do a lot of people, prefer him in rf.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
5 years 17 days ago

You need to add the Cardinals to the list. Freese is under team control, but his future is uncertain. He’s out for the year with surgery on an ankle; he was out most of last year with surgery on an ankle. I think they need an upgrade since Felipe Lopez is currently playing third base.

5 years 17 days ago

I actually don’t think he needs to add them since the Cards probably won’t even bother to pursue any major free agents. They have to worry about being able to sign Pujols, and if they go and sign Beltre to a 10 to 15 mil a year contract they most likely won’t have the money to bring him back after next season (since they have a lot of money tied up in Carpenter, Wainwright, Lohse, and Holliday). The Cards have been very concerned that they won’t be able to sign Pujols long-term already, if you add the money that Beltre would make, Pujols would most likely be walking.

ChefR
5 years 17 days ago

the Yanks might go for it. Think about it, Jeter, as much as people love him there, simply cannot be the SS forever. put Beltre in at SS, Jeter to the OF, voila

BoSoxSam
5 years 17 days ago

Thought he played third…*shrug*

dodgers1994
5 years 17 days ago

ur kinda dumb jeter is a fine ss why would u put adrian there? when yankees love derek there is no way thats happening

ellisburks
5 years 17 days ago

Jeter’s UZR the last 10 years: -17, 0.9, -4.0, -0.7, -14.9, -7.3, -17.9, -0.3, 6.4, -2.5. only two years in the positive does not a “fine” player make. Jeter is not a good ss and is only getting older. The Yankees need a new short stop.This does not mean I support the beginning statement as I think putting Beltre at short is a retarded idea. Why take an amazing 3b and put him at ss.

IHateJoeBuck
5 years 17 days ago

Especially a guy who will be 32 around opening day next year who has played 14 total innings at SS in his career.

ChefR
5 years 16 days ago

A-Rod didn’t play 3B at all in the big leagues prior to joining the Yankees, and he was 30. Jeter will be 37 come next year.. converting a stellar 3B to SS is not a difficult task. Yeah, he may not have as much range as some other guys, but it’ll be better than Jeter for sure. Btw, ARod got all his gold gloves at SS, and that wasn’t long before joinin the Yanks

IHateJoeBuck
5 years 16 days ago

Yeah no crap, it’s a heck of a lot easier to move from SS to 3B, not the other way around. Belte would be lucky to be an average SS.

ChefR
5 years 16 days ago

I like how people think making the move from 3B to SS is some ridiculously stupid idea. It might be one of the easiest switches in baseball minus the outfield slots.

Ever heard of someone like Craig Biggio? Used to be a catcher, wrap your brain around that.

Or how about A-Rod, do you know what positions he won his two Gold Gloves at? SS

IHateJoeBuck
5 years 16 days ago

I don’t get your argument. You’re naming guys who went from SS to another position. No argument there, there’s tons of guys who converted from C or SS to another position (Biggio, Konerko, Delgado, Inge, Chipper, Pedroia, B.J. Upton, A-Rod). How many guys can you name that went the other way around? You don’t just convert a guy to a SS late in his career. You cannot seriously believe the transition to SS is the easiest.

ellisburks
5 years 16 days ago

It isn’t that Beltre couldn’t make the move to SS, the question is why? Why move possibly the best fielding third baseman in baseball to a different position? And if the Yankees were to sign Beltre they would put him at third base and move A-Rod somewhere else. I am not saying the Yankees would do this but IF they did it would make more sense. A-Rod has had only 1 positive UZR since making the move to 3B while Beltre has only had one negative year with a high of 24.4!

IHateJoeBuck
5 years 16 days ago

True, but also imagine Cashman/Girardi telling Derek Jeter that they want him to switch positions for a guy that’s basically never played there.

towney007
5 years 17 days ago

I’d put his chances of landing in Boston at 50% best. Let me digress for a second…

I have a feeling the Red Sox will excersize David Ortiz’s option, meaning that their DH spot is, for all intents and purposes, full. Martinez, while not very good defensively, is still a high quality bat, and a 3 year deal doesn’t seem too outrageous to me at all. All things considered, I think both stay. I feel like the Red Sox will play out the dry catching market a year and make due with what they’ve got right now. Essentially for 2012, Ortiz is off the books and V-Mart slides into his spot for 2 years. I think it more or less kills to birds with one stone.

I think an upgrade in the outfield is almost inevitable. They’ll play for Crawford, but so will everyone. I don’t see him ending up in Boston – more likely he goes to the Yankees. Jason Werth seems like a really good fit there and foots the bill so to speak. They’ll have some flexibility with whom they move around out there, so that would more or less settle things there.

Then here’s Beltre, who’s signing – I think – will hinge a lot on what they decide to do at first base. I think the Red Sox will really get aggressive pursuing Adrian Gonzalez or Prince Fielder. I’d err that they’d have the better shot at landing Fielder. For one, the Padres are in first place and I can’t imagine them having a seller’s attitude in the offseason. He’ll likely be the guy to watch get moved at the deadline if they falter early next year, but I’m yet to be sold that the Padres will deal him yet. If they did – the price would be astronomical – one that’d be substantially higher than what the Sox would be willing to pay – at least by the offseason.

Fielder to me, seems more realistic. A package centering around Casey Kelly and Lars Anderson would fit. Felix Doubront, Michael Bowden or Ryan Kalish (or two of them) would be a really great haul. I feel like the Kalish move has been done to up his value as much as anything, although I could see the Sox being a little hesitant to move him provided the depth he can provide. Doubront and Bowden, IMO, are very much on the table.

If they get Fielder, then I’d assume one of two things happens – Ortiz is gone or Beltre goes. Knowing Epstein, I’d figure he wouldn’t be too comfortable betting on the uncertainty of landing that big bat and being in a position where the Brewers or Padres would have the leverage of knowing the Sox would have to bend because of the lack of the monster bat. Plus nightmares of David Ortiz in their own division to boot and I don’t know if the Sox are willing to take the risk. I’m not saying it’s total deal killer, but Epstein has never been a guy to put that organization in a position where they can’t walk away if the offer is outrageous and there’s an impasse.

Which means I think Beltre is the odd man out. Fielder/Martinez platooning at first isn’t ideal, and maybe Youk IS past the point of no return – but man, I’d like their lineup if it looked like this:

Ellsbury
Pedroia
Fielder
Youkilis
Ortiz
Martinez
Werth
Drew
Scutaro

I hate fantasy lineups, but I’d think that one would look pretty formidable.

Heading forward to 2012, you can pursue another 1st baseman, or get back into the mix for a third baseman. Fielder or Martinez can DH. Martinez can play first on Youkilis’ off days. Or – they strictly pursue a DH and if the catching market continues to suck, keep Martinez there in hopes of trading for a not-as-far-along catcher to replace him in 2013.

However you slice it – while the situation may not be IDEAL, it gives the Red Sox what they love – flexibility and the ability to deal from a position of strength – not need.

The last scenario is they let Ortiz go, resign Beltre and pursue Fielder or Gonzo. I just don’t know if they’ll want to run the risk of not acquiring one of those guys and be left with NO Ortiz/Fielder/Gonzalez type bat.

5 years 17 days ago

EllsburyPedroiaFielderYoukilisOrtizMartinezWerthDrewScutaroIn response to the lineup above…The Red Sox, right now, have about $120 committed for next year, give or take a couple of arbitration cases. If they add Werth, Fielder, Martinez, and Ortiz’s option, that’s at least $172 million without any help in the bullpen. The luxury tax benchmark in 2011 is $178 million, which is really $168 million since the last $10 million is already committed to benefits and filling out he 40 man roster.I really don’t think the Sox will go that far over the luxury tax. They went over this year, and as such every dollar over in 2011 is taxed at 30 percent. Between Werth, Beltre, and Martinez, they’ll sign **two** out of three. They still need a bullpen beyond Papelbon and Bard.

jwredsox
5 years 17 days ago

I think they are going to make their priority (out side of resigning some of their guys) in Crawford over Werth. The Yankees have 3 good OFers that are all signed so they might decide not to pursue Crawford bu the real thing is Crawford is just a whole league a head of Werth. The Red Sox didn’t want to commit the money to a similar player in Jason Bay (yes I know his knees had something to do with it but that could be offset by the fact Bay proved he could handle Boston).

5 years 17 days ago

No way they exercise Ortiz’s option. It is possible they buyout the option and then offer him two years at a much lower price. The money people are willing to spend on DH’s has radically decreased over recent seasons (his slow starting does not help).

dodgers1994
5 years 17 days ago

hes going to be a fluke again in 04 for the doyers he was a monsster hen he lost it in 05 i am almost sure he will do that again

jwredsox
5 years 17 days ago

But the difference was that in 05 he moved to a park notorious for zapping all RHB of power. Several years in Seattle he put up decent power and batting average on the road but he just couldn’t hit in Safeco

IHateJoeBuck
5 years 17 days ago

Right, the became a comparable to hitter to Pujols in 2004 and this year. The rest of his career he’s been a slightly above average hitter. I don’t attribute that to moving to a hitter’s ballpark. He’s just having a good year, whether he’s changed his approach or it’s mostly luck.

Sockmonkey23
5 years 17 days ago

The Orioles are certainly going to be interested in both Beltre and Fielder.

Why doesn’t Cot’s Contracts list Beltre as a 2011 FA?

IHateJoeBuck
5 years 17 days ago

But will Beltre and Fielder be interested in the Orioles?

Sockmonkey23
5 years 17 days ago

Well, Fielder isn’t an FA yet, he’d be a trade, then hope to sign him. They probably won’t do that, now that I think of it.

Yankees420
5 years 16 days ago

Cot’s lists his player option, at least when I go to it they do:

Adrian Beltre 3b
1 year/$10M (2010), plus 2011 player option

* 1 year/$10M (2010)
o signed by Boston as a free agent 1/5/10
o 10:$9M, 11:$5M player option
o $1M buyout for 2011 option if Beltre has 575 PAs in 2010
o 2011 option increases to $10M with 640 PAs in 2010

thegrayrace
5 years 16 days ago

I’d hope Casey Blake and his .250/.327/.410 line and 26% strikeout rate wouldn’t prevent the Dodgers from acquiring a good 3B.But I’m sure the cash-strung ownership will…

5 years 17 days ago

If he didn’t have a monster year like he’s having, I’d say yes. The fact is he’s an MVP candidate this year. He also likely won’t reach 640 PA’s as he’s currently on pace for around 600. He’ll likely get a 3-4 year deal around 10-12m per year in free agency so I think it’s safe to assume he won’t exercise his option (which will most likely be for only 5m).

5 years 17 days ago

Probably because he has been the only consistent player they’ve had all year, and without him, they’d be even further behind than they already are.

5 years 17 days ago

That’s what everyone said when he signed with Boston. That $10 Million was ridiculously overpaid. According to Fangraphs, he’s been worth about $20.7 Million this year. Seems like a good investment to me.

BoSoxSam
5 years 17 days ago

And because, as much as people make of Youk’s versatility, he said this winter that he wasn’t sure how well he’d play third anymore, and sounds like he doesn’t want to switch positions again. IF they can make the deal for a big 1B, he MIGHT move, but that’s a lot of uncertainties. They may decide to keep Beltre, and stay consistent on the corners, and upgrade offensively in the outfield.

5 years 17 days ago

Agreed. Plus, with David Ortiz’ impending free agency, there’s no telling what happens at DH, either.

5 years 17 days ago

So you wouldn’t make the commitment to him because he could potentially play at a lower level than he has this year? I guess that’s the difference between us, I’d take the chance on him hitting above .300 with 20 home runs and 80 to 100 RBI.

BoSoxSam
5 years 17 days ago

Sure, he might regress. But in Fenway, its likely he’ll still hit a lot better than he did in Seattle. Besides, 31-34 age range is not THAT huge of a commitment risk. At worst he’s signed til about 35. The reason Boston will go out of their way to keep Beltre is that Youkilis may very well be past the point of no return in regards to moving back to 3B, and Beltre is easily the best available 3B option. He clearly likes it here, hit well here, has great defense, so its kind of a no brainer.

jwredsox
5 years 17 days ago

I thought Beltre’s deal was a absolute steal by Boston the day he signed it, as did several others.

BoSoxSam
5 years 17 days ago

Beltre didn’t hit in Seattle because of the park. Last year, it was injury. He has raked every time he’s hit in a hitters park. Why then do you think if someone with a hitters park signed him longterm, that they would get a bad return?

dodgers1994
5 years 17 days ago

boston is the first hitters park hes ever played at

Yankees420
5 years 16 days ago

I agree that Bay and Werth aren’t very similar due to the huge gap in defensive ability. And even though Crawford has a better career UZR/150 (15.9) than Jayson (10.0), isn’t defense out of RF more valuable than defense out of LF? Couple that with the fact that Jayson is better offensively (CC has that great SB/baserunning ability though), I think the two are pretty close in value. I’d still give the edge to Crawford because Werth can be pretty streaky and is 2 years older, but it seems that Werth is being regarded as a significant step down from Crawford, which I honestly just don’t see.

5 years 6 days ago

STRIKE ZONE WHATSA STRIKE ZONE

You’re forgetting that Fenway CAN inflate a hitter like Beltre’s BABIP… you know all those long fly outs to left in Seattle? Those are doubles off the Monster.