Rangers, Beltre Close To Deal

7:35pm: Jeff Wilson of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets that Beltre will be in the Dallas area tonight in preparation for a physical on Wednesday. MLB.com's Peter Gammons adds that the Athletics offered six years and $76MM at one point, making the Angels the third highest bidder in the division (Twitter link).

12:49pm: The deal is not done, but it could be worth as much as $96MM over six years, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The contract would include a clause that would allow the Rangers to opt out of the sixth year if Beltre doesn't reach a threshold for plate appearances.

10:15am: The Rangers are close to a six-year deal with Adrian Beltre, according to Yahoo's Tim Brown (on Twitter). Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Rangers are making progress and that a deal would be in the $90-100MM range (Twitter links). Yahoo's Jeff Passan agrees that the value of the deal will approach $100MM. A source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the deal would effectively be for five years with a vesting option for a sixth year. (Twitter link). Agent Scott Boras represents Beltre.

Beltre led the American League in doubles last year and added 28 homers, hitting .321/.365/.553 in 641 plate appearances. He made the All-Star team, won his second career Silver Slugger and played standout defense. The defensive metric UZR/150 suggests that Beltre was significantly above average with the glove (12.7 UZR/150) for the eighth time in the past nine seasons. Beltre, 31, would be 37 in the final season of a six-year deal. 

Michael Young said yesterday that he'd be willing to move from third base if the Rangers sign Beltre. Young shifted from second base to shortstop when the Rangers traded Alex Rodriguez and from short to third when Elvis Andrus reached the majors, so position switches are nothing new for him. If the Rangers don't trade him, Young figures to appear in the lineup most days as a DH and utility player.

Young has no-trade protection, $48MM remaining on his contract and ten and five rights that take effect this May. The Rangers discussed a potential deal with the Rockies last month, but the team would have to overcome many obstacles to move Young.

Since the Red Sox offered Beltre arbitration, they will obtain two top draft picks next year. One will be a supplementary first rounder and the other will come from the Rangers. It will be Texas' first rounder as long as the Rangers don't sign Rafael Soriano. If they do sign the closer, the Rays would get the Rangers' top pick and the Red Sox would get their second rounder.

The Angels already missed out on Carl Crawford, so losing Beltre to a division rival would be a considerable blow for a franchise that finished below .500 for the first time since 2003 last year. The A's, another one of Beltre's suitors, will once again face the longtime Mariner as a division rival.

This is the second long-term deal of Beltre's career. He signed a five-year, $64MM deal with the Mariners after the 2004 season. In five seasons in Seattle, Beltre hit 103 homers and posted a .266/.317/.442 line while playing stellar defense (that's 3.4 WAR per season, in case you're wondering).

Boras and Beltre accepted a $10MM offer from the Red Sox last offseason, though other clubs offered more guaranteed money. That decision positioned the third baseman for a considerably larger payday.

PioDeportes first reported the agreement over the weekend. 

The post was originally published on January 4th.


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