Beltre Declines Player Option, Hits Free Agency

Adrian Beltre officially declined his player option for 2011 and hit the open market, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe (on Twitter). Because he reached his plate appearance incentives in Boston, Beltre could have earned $10MM by exercising his 2011 option. As the top free agent third baseman, he is in position to sign for considerably more than that.

Beltre batted .321/.365/.553 this season with 28 homers and a league-best 49 doubles. At 31, he is relatively young and he is considered one of baseball's best defensive third basemen. Only his career .328 OBP and his tendency to play especially well in contract years will limit interest.

If the Red Sox offer arbitration as expected and Beltre turns the offer down to sign with another team, Boston gets two top compensation picks for losing a Type A free agent.


41 Responses to Beltre Declines Player Option, Hits Free Agency Leave a Reply

  1. moonraker45 5 years ago

    shocked and appalled

  2. Philip Marlowe 5 years ago

    And so begins three months of “Where will Adrian Beltre sign?” rumors. I’m calling Angels, maybe Diamondbacks, if Reynolds moves to 1st?

    • Eric 5 years ago

      The D-backs won’t have the money to commit to Adrian Beltre. The Angels seem like a likely landing spot for the gold glove caliber 3B. And as an M’s fan I would enjoy seeing the Angels sign Beltre to a big money contract only to under perform offensively for 4 or 5 years, but although the Angels are a rival I am an Adrian Beltre fan, so there are mixed feelings.

  3. Eric 5 years ago

    Adrian Beltre is the MAN when it comes to big contract years. In 04 he hit 48HR and then signed a 5YR/65M deal in the off-season with the Seattle Mariners. Boras was genius to bet on Beltre’s performance on a 2nd chance at a contract year. After a hot 2010 where he was worth 7.1WAR, he will likely find a deal that pays him 13M-15M/YR on a 4-5 year deal.

  4. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    I know there are questions about him long term, but I think the Sox should stay competitive to try to sign him long term. He just seems like a guy who’s swing is designed for Fenway… plus I’ve never seen a guy go on one knee to hit a home run and Beltre did it 3 or 4 times during the season.

    • Zuidvogels 5 years ago

      It was reported Youk is healed from his injury and has started training for 3B. The Red Sox are moving on. My guess is they get a 1 year stop gap for 1B and go after one of the big 3 next off season.

      • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

        Read the same rumor and I agree it seems like Theo is preparing for that possibility. But I don’t like the Sox chances with Youk at 3rd all year. He’s really more of an occasional third baseman now, a guy you can put there for once a week. On the other hand Youk is a gamer, if he trains all winter then who knows.

        • johnsilver 5 years ago

          You are pretty much right on as usual. 2 seasons ago, NP with Youk as a FT 3B and a good one at that, but now he would probably just be about an average one at the very best and what would they get at 1B? Lose a top notch defender at 1st, then get something that possibly is pretty average there also? Lose 2 GG types.

          Epstein really has his work cut out for him and a reason I at least am hoping in the back of his mind he really hangs onto Lowrie and gives the kid a chance to play it, or if he does not show the power that he had at 3B, to move at the deadline perhaps to some desperate team that always comes around.

  5. Gumby65 5 years ago

    I think “shocked” is a word that can be used again… Predicting the Broke, dysfuctional & pi**ed of Dodgers make a move on Belly.

  6. wickedkevin 5 years ago

    Yeah, and Grizzly Adams had a beard.

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      We had that comment yesterday… it’s no longer witty.

      • Infield Fly 5 years ago

        Well, I don’t know about ‘witty,’ but I was going to say the same.

      • Infield Fly 5 years ago

        Well, I don’t know about ‘witty,’ but I was going to say the same.

      • wickedkevin 5 years ago

        You’ll see me use it again once Jeter and Mo get signed and the topic is titled something like, “Jeter and Mo remain Yankees”

        • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

          And you’ll see me say “Shocking!”

  7. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    How is he “the man”? He hit amazing in his Dodger contract year(everyone assumes steroids), the polar opposite in 09 with Seattle, and had a great year in a RH hitters paradise this year. He’ll get a good contract, sure, but having an amazing contract year, a questionable one in a hitters park, and a terrible one shouldn’t give him a track record of being an outstanding contract year player.

  8. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    How is he “the man”? He hit amazing in his Dodger contract year(everyone assumes steroids), the polar opposite in 09 with Seattle, and had a great year in a RH hitters paradise this year. He’ll get a good contract, sure, but having an amazing contract year, a questionable one in a hitters park, and a terrible one shouldn’t give him a track record of being an outstanding contract year player.

  9. Tko11 5 years ago

    I would gladly have him back on a 4 year $56-60million deal. But I have confidence in the front office that if they let him go they will replace his production some way.

  10. Gumby65 5 years ago

    Woah, I just heard on the radio that Free Agency has released Willy Taveras…

  11. yandz11190 5 years ago

    I dont get why everyone is assuming Beltre will leave Boston. Guy obviously plays well there and prioritizes winning. He might have to sacrifice a couple million to stay there, but he will enjoy it more than anywhere else.

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Rumors have it he wants to go back to the West Coast… I’m pretty sure his family lives there. It’s possible Boston will have to pay a premium to keep his services.

      • went9 5 years ago

        Adrian Beltre’s home is only 36 miles from Angel Stadium. Why would he put his beautiful custom built gated home at 340 Old Ranch Rd on the market for $19.8mil, just six weeks ago, if he thought the Angels would be his team for the next 4 or 5 years? Unless this sale is part of a Boras bluff to put the pressure on the Angels, it would seem that Adrian is ready and prepared to move his family from Bradbury, CA.
        His home is also only 21 miles to Dodger Stadium.

        But on the flip side, I wouldn’t put it passed Scott Boras to advise his client to play out a bluff. Boras is diabolical….

        • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

          Eh, I tend not to attach real estate to rumors about players… it’s an extra variable that none of us know how to interpret… especially with Boras.

        • Hermie13 5 years ago

          Um….why would he chose now to move though? He hasn’t played for the Dogers for 7 years.

          I think this is a coincidence and nothing more…..or maybe Beltre knows he’s gonna get paid so is prepping for an even bigger/better house in the SoCal area.

          If I was betting on where Beltre went, I’d put huge money on the Angels. They need him, have the money, AND they don’t lose a 1st round pick for signign him.

          How POed would the Red Sox be if the Angels signed Crawford and Beltre? Theyd get stuck with a 3rd round pick for Beltre (plus the sandwich pick), lol.

          Not happening (or at least I doubt it), but I would get a good chuckle out of it.

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      he plays well there.. yess which is exactly why it was great to go there on a contract year. get a nice big contract to ride out his career on..
      why would he sacrifice any money when this will definitely be his last big contract.

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      he plays well there.. yess which is exactly why it was great to go there on a contract year. get a nice big contract to ride out his career on..
      why would he sacrifice any money when this will definitely be his last big contract.

  12. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    Why is Boss Moanaroa tagged?

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

      Maybe Ben thought his name was so badass that he needed to be tagged.

  13. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    Any chance San Diego could pull a surprise signing? Or are they really strapped on cash?

    • Hermie13 5 years ago

      Really no chance…..unless they couple a Beltre signing with a trade of Gonzalez. They can’t afford both. I’d say try to re-sign Gonzalez and not worry about Beltre.

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

        Right on. Just trying to determine what teams that are in California he could be a good fit in.

        Oakland would be my next guess, and they have the last protected draft pick. Only issue is Beane being a penny pincher.

        • With Pablo Sandoval being an unknown now, and the Giants needing more thump… why not the Giants, and make Pablo backup infielder and catcher.

  14. ze3 5 years ago

    For the Angels’ sake, I hope Beltre stays in Boston, and yeah, I agree Boras is the devil is disguise

  15. hawkny1 5 years ago

    If Beltre’s house is priced to sell, and he sells, he , his spouse and three children are Boston bound. Adrian said at the end of the 2010 season that where he signs for 2011 will prioritize his family. He doesn’t strike me as a BS artist, so I say take him at his word. This is pure speculation but my guess is 3/yrs @ $15M with a mutual option on a fourth year….
    Lets not forget that Beltre, at 31 years of age, has 12 years of MLB experience already. He may be thinking that his next contract will be his last and it would be nice to retire from a winning ball club, playing where he can perform well to the end (ala Mike Lowell).

    • Hermie13 5 years ago

      I agree with the part that he may be thinking his next contract will be his last….which is why there is no way he accepts a 3yr/$45M deal. He’ll want at minimum 4 guaranteed years, and probably will look for 5 or even 6 years. Boston won’t give him that…..he’s as good as gone, same as Bay.

      • No chance he gets 6 years. None. Zip. 5 is unlikely, but possible if the AAV takes an appropriate hit. 4/56 or 5/64 is probably the limit. I’m also unsure of why you feel the Red Sox wouldn’t give Beltre a 4 year deal and even more unsure of why you make any comparison to Jason Bay.

      • hawkny1 5 years ago

        You may be right..but my rational is based on the idea he may not want to play until he is 37/38.
        He came up when he was 18, so he already has 12 years in… and how much money can one spend in a lifetime? Aside from the Angels, who would give him 5/6 years guaranteed?  Any thoughts?

  16. slider32 5 years ago

    Beltre signs with the Angels for 5/65. They also sign Crawford.

    • TapDancingTeddy 5 years ago

      The Angels need a third baseman pretty bad. They could also use any offensive upgrade, so I agree they should pursue Beltre. I’m just not sure about the years. Beltre’s been fantastic in “contract years” so maybe you don’t want to give him too much security.

      As for Crawford, it’s going to be interesting to see what his market value is. I think the Angels should be a bit more careful in going all out on him if there are a lot of suitors.

  17. slider32 5 years ago

    Crawford and Beltre will put the Angels back on top in the AL West; if Lee goes to the Yanks.

  18. Xeller 5 years ago

    IF (and a bunch of pretty big Ifs, but isn’t that what this site is all about?) Sandoval can get his swing back to a point where his offensive value is worth starts at first base, Beltre actually could be a fit in San Fran. A right-handed bat with a solid glove in AT&T would be exactly what the Giants were HOPING to get when they signed DeRosa.

    Albeit, Beltre does not have the same versatility nor affordability, but a Beltre signing could allow Panda to make the inevitable move to first base, Huff to the outfield, and create a better lefty-righty balance in the Giants lineup.

    Of course, the middle infield is a greater concern for the team, and I would hope Sabean chooses to address that issue first.

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