Beltre, Martinez Are Boston’s “First Choices”

Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez are two of this winter's most sought-after free agents, but don't discount the possibility that both players remain in Boston next season.  In a conference call with media (including WEEI's Alex Speier), Red Sox GM Theo Epstein said that re-signing both Beltre and Martinez are top priorities for his club.

Our first choice for our third baseman in 2011 and beyond would be to bring back Adrian Beltre,” said Epstein. “Victor would certainly be our first choice to be our 2011 catcher and beyond. He did an outstanding job for us in the year and a half he was here. … I know it’s been portrayed in the media a little bit as if we haven’t been pursuing him. … We absolutely want this guy back.”

The Red Sox are one of the few clubs that can afford signing two high-profile free agents like Beltre and Martinez, though Epstein noted that "it always comes down to years and dollars.”  The former is the more important factor for Boston.  Both players are 31 years old and signing either to a long-term contract might be tricky for a club that has Josh Beckett and John Lackey signed through 2014 to already borderline-regrettable deals.  Signing Beltre and Martinez would also make it virtually impossible that the Red Sox could afford Carl Crawford, their other big target of the winter.

Epstein said the club is "not particularly close to anything at this time" and doesn't expect any major signings before the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to free agents.  He also said that the Red Sox will trade or sign "at least one" new reliever this winter, though Epstein expects the market for bullpen help to be very busy this winter given the number of quality arms available.


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76 Comments on "Beltre, Martinez Are Boston’s “First Choices”"


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EarlyMorningBoxscore
4 years 7 months ago

The Sox have money even if they sign Beltre and V-Mart they could afford Crawford or Werth.

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Sniderlover
4 years 7 months ago

I’d assume Boston also wants to use some money for the bullpen.

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EarlyMorningBoxscore
4 years 7 months ago

Still they could still use money on bullpen, sign Werth or Crawford, and resign Beltre, and Victor anybody who thinks the Red Sox are pinching pennies are really oblivious to the fact that the Sox could spend as much as the Yankees, but they do not do it.

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Steve_in_MA
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t know about matching the Yanks, especially since they are probably going to jump their payroll up to almost $250MM if they sign Lee, as well as re-sign Jeter and Mo. But the Sox had $49MM, net of raises and arbitration awards, coming off the payroll this offseason, before exercising the Ortiz option, so that’s still $37MM free if we only maintain team payroll at $170MM. We will not just maintain. We’ll go up to maybe $185MM. That means we’ve got $52MM per season in additional salary we could take on. Assuming Beltre ($15MM/Yr.), Martinez ($11MM/Yr.) and Werth ($15MM/Yr.) were signed, that gives us about $11MM more to spend on bullpen help. My suggestion would be to sign Downs and Benoit, and we’d still probably have a couple million left over.

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MB923
4 years 7 months ago

Where the heck do you get $250 million from? lol. Jeter and Mo will make less money than what they made. Vazquez will be gone, Pettitte could retire. Heck there’s a chance even if the Yankees get Lee that their payroll decreases (if Pettitte retires)

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Steve_in_MA
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t know about matching the Yanks, especially since they are probably going to jump their payroll up to almost $250MM if they sign Lee, as well as re-sign Jeter and Mo. But the Sox had $49MM, net of raises and arbitration awards, coming off the payroll this offseason, before exercising the Ortiz option, so that’s still $37MM free if we only maintain team payroll at $170MM. We will not just maintain. We’ll go up to maybe $185MM. That means we’ve got $52MM per season in additional salary we could take on. Assuming Beltre ($15MM/Yr.), Martinez ($11MM/Yr.) and Werth ($15MM/Yr.) were signed, that gives us about $11MM more to spend on bullpen help. My suggestion would be to sign Downs and Benoit, and we’d still probably have a couple million left over.

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eman
4 years 7 months ago

wow

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Fangaffes
4 years 7 months ago

The Yankees have a much bigger stadium and a HUGE TV contract. There’s no way in the world the Red Sox (or anyone else) could match them.

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Fangaffes
4 years 7 months ago

The Yankees have a much bigger stadium and a HUGE TV contract. There’s no way in the world the Red Sox (or anyone else) could match them.

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rsoxbob
4 years 7 months ago

Agreed. Removing Lugo, Lowell, Varitek and Okajima from the payroll should free up the $ to sign Werth or Crawford even if both V-Mart and Beltre were to sign with Boston–both players were on last year’s payroll, albeit at lower salaries, so the math isn’t that daunting.

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ze3
4 years 7 months ago

Somebody make an offer to a free agent already!

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LifeLongYankeeFan
4 years 7 months ago

Exactly I’m getting pretty tired of this.

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missyae
4 years 7 months ago

More of Theo saying the right things before he lets them leave. Same ole BoSox P.R. stuff.

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JackParkman
4 years 7 months ago

Yup, I agree. What else would he say, they are the backup plans?

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MaineSox
4 years 7 months ago

What else should he say? Unless he has no intention of resigning them under any circumstances he would be a fool to say anything else.

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MaineSox
4 years 7 months ago

What else should he say? Unless he has no intention of resigning them under any circumstances he would be a fool to say anything else.

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jwredsox
4 years 7 months ago

Just formalities here, nothing to see.