AL West Notes: Beltre, Rangers, A’s, Guerrero

Needless to say, the Adrian Beltre signing is the biggest news of the day in the AL West.  Here are some other items from the division with the longest World Series title drought (albeit only since 2002) in baseball…

  • There isn't any deferred money in the five guaranteed years of Beltre's contract, reports Evan P. Grant of the Dallas Morning News.  (Twitter link)  Grant says the Rangers are "trying to do away with deferrals."
  • Beltre's signing could push the Rangers' payroll over the $100MM mark for the first time since 2003, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  Team president Nolan Ryan says the team is not only prepared for the possibility, but says Beltre's deal won't affect plans to explore extensions with players like Josh Hamilton.
  • Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com thinks the Beltre signing "isn’t necessarily a loss for the jilted A’s" since the Rangers didn't solve their main need of pitching, and Beltre's production last year "represents a wash offensively" with the departed Vladimir Guerrero.  
  • Speaking of Guerrero, Angels manager Mike Scioscia discussed the veteran slugger with Jim Duqette and Kevin Kennedy of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM.  (MLB.com's Lyle Spencer has a fuller recap of Scioscia's appearance.)  Scioscia said his team isn't looking for a long-term contract with Guerrero, but admitted that "he's definitely a guy that's very interesting to look at."  We've heard mixed reports about the Angels' interest in bringing Guerrero back to Anaheim, but with Texas out of the picture, the Halos probably won't have to offer more than a one-year deal to sign the possible Hall-of-Famer. 


45 Responses to AL West Notes: Beltre, Rangers, A’s, Guerrero Leave a Reply

  1. I would change possible into probable.

    • YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

      Absolutely. Even if he retired next year a .320 avg, 2,500 hits, 1,500 RBI and 450 hrs should be enough. I wonder if he would go in as an Expos or an Angels cap?

  2. MaineSox 5 years ago

    Mr. Urban sounds like he’s trying to make himself feel better. Assuming, as he does, that Beltre’s offense is offset by the loss of Vlad’s offense you are still gaining about 2.2 WAR just by replacing Young’s defense with Beltre’s defense, so just on defense alone the team should, in theory, be about 2 wins better.

  3. 0vercast 5 years ago

    I believe that if Beltre’s offensive production for the next 5 years matched that of Vlad’s in 2010, the Rangers would be very pleased with that. Vlad had a heck of a season at the plate.

    • cookmeister 5 years ago

      vlad’s 2009 season he hit .295 with 15 homers and 50 RBI…. unless you meant 2010

  4. hey arte bring vladdy back can u atleast gives us hope

  5. One thing you guys are all forgetting — Vladdy was GREAT the first half of the season and far less than great the second half and in the postseason, even before the Rangers ran into that red-hot SF pitching. If I’m a team looking at Vladdy, I seriously have to ask myself — which Vladdy are we going to get? His second-half numbers are a concern, especially since they came in a ballpark where he’s traditionally crushed the ball.

    • Pete 5 years ago

      Vlad in the park that made Gary Mathews Jr look like Mickey Mantle: 881 OPS
      Vlad in every other park: 796 OPS.

      He’s fading, away from Texas he’d be 750-800 OPS guy next year. Not great but worth a DH spot on the Mariners or something.

  6. Im_Batman 5 years ago

    If the Angels signed Vlad it would at least help the offense some what. Although, if you look at the Angels line-up, it is getting somewhat older so who knows if Vladdy is the player the really need. Crawford was younger and could have provided that youthful punch at the top of the line-up.

  7. Snoochies8 5 years ago

    I’m pretty sure the A’s would rather face Guerrero and the risk he’d feel his same old self next year rather than Beltre

  8. KLDESQ 5 years ago

    The Rangers are the HUGE (AL West) off season victors. The Angles did basically nothing and the Rangers got Beltre (a HUGE improvement defensively over Young and an improvement over a 2011 Vladdy. In addition to this, the Rangers signed Cy Webb as well as Arthur Rhodes–all in all I LOVE the Rangers chances to repeat in the West.

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Cy Webb? He’s pitched one game in 2 years.

    • NathanielS 5 years ago

      Huge? They lost Lee, one of MLB’s greatest and replace him with Beltre. Beltre who at BEST replaces Vladdy offense. He also provides much better defense at third. So they will have diminishing returns on third base as Beltre ages.

      Still better offseason then the LAA though. Who have a much better pitching staff.

      • MaineSox 5 years ago

        Lee who had a close to 4.00 ERA and was 4-6 with Texas. Lee is great, no doubt, but he wasn’t great with Texas so there aren’t really big shoes to fill by any means.

        • NathanielS 5 years ago

          Lee who was dominate once he got over his back issues and elevated the pitching staff? That Lee? The Lee who dominated the last few weeks of the season unlike any Texas pitcher, sans Nolan.

          • MaineSox 5 years ago

            Yeah, I know he’s great (I said that in my comment) but the actual numbers, which are what is being replaced, are not.

          • NathanielS 5 years ago

            Sure his numbers can be easily replaced. His presence, not so much. Best thing Tx can do right now is do what they can to nab Garza.

          • MaineSox 5 years ago

            Yeah, I’m not saying I think the Rangers are clear favorites in the West (I don’t) I just think people tend to overstate the impact that losing Lee will have on Texas, simply because he is Cliff Lee, without actually looking at the stats.

    • PushDown 5 years ago

      Hahaha actually Cy Webb maybe overestimating a guy who has pitched in ONE MLB game in 2 years. I highly doubt Webb gets back to that elite level, especially after moving from NL to AL, not to mention having to call the Ballpark of Arlington as his new home. Can’t imagine him playing CY level again.

    • num3fan 5 years ago

      Haha…ok. Anything to keep yourself optimistic there! :) Hope you’re still cheering for this offseason as Texas realizes they may not have the pitching to repeat. 😉

  9. Steve_in_MA 5 years ago

    Yeah, that one is as big a stretch as the pantyhose he pulls over his head. Brandon is a bit of a reclamation project, but he’s priced accordingly and has a ton of support in the Texas system. He could be a formidable come-back candidate. But he still has to come out and throw the ball over the plate for 200 innings to get that “name change.”

    The most important thing about Brandon is that, if he’s successful, he will keep the Rangers rotation strong, and will preserve a very good bullpen.

  10. David C. Ruckman 5 years ago

    (in response to MaineSox) The stat line doesn’t reveal that Lee pitched six complete games and four more with at least 8.0 innings pitched between June 7 and August 6, which probably left him exhausted. Plus, Lee dominated in September, allowing only six runs across 28.0 innings. I mean, no big deal or anything. He probably played the entire season healthy as a horse after that unbelievable workload.

    • MaineSox 5 years ago

      And? I know the guy is good, read what I wrote and you’ll see that I acknowledge that a couple of times. It doesn’t matter how good he looked doing it, all they need is a pitcher to post a 4.00 ERA and a 4-6 record to *statistically* replace Lee.

      • MaineSox 5 years ago

        And before you guys jump all over me, yes I know ERA and Win-Loss are silly stats but I’m just looking at the end outcome, how they get there really in the end doesn’t matter.

      • David C. Ruckman 5 years ago

        You’re making a huge assumption that Cliff Lee would pitch to that same level in 2011 and beyond — hypothetically speaking, of course, since he’s already committed to the Phillies. And you’re taking a relatively small sample size, stripping it of its context, and omitting key underlying information to construct a weak argument.

        I read every word of what you typed here, which is why I felt motivated to point those facts out to you. It just doesn’t make sense to me that you would leap to that conclusion and minimize the effect Lee had on the bullpen’s workload, the pitching staff’s all-around performance, and the team’s momentum in general.

        Oh, and then there was that stint of pure and utter dominance he displayed throughout the playoffs. Whoops, almost forgot.

        • MaineSox 5 years ago

          Since you read every word of what I wrote can you kindly point out to me where I said anything about what he would do in the future? I made exactly zero assumptions, and I’m 100% certain that he wont pitch at that level going forward. I was simply stating that they wont have a huge drop in production *from last year* because of Lee leaving, like some people seem to think they will.

      • David C. Ruckman 5 years ago

        You’re making a huge assumption that Cliff Lee would pitch to that same level in 2011 and beyond — hypothetically speaking, of course, since he’s already committed to the Phillies. And you’re taking a relatively small sample size, stripping it of its context, and omitting key underlying information to construct a weak argument.

        I read every word of what you typed here, which is why I felt motivated to point those facts out to you. It just doesn’t make sense to me that you would leap to that conclusion and minimize the effect Lee had on the bullpen’s workload, the pitching staff’s all-around performance, and the team’s momentum in general.

        Oh, and then there was that stint of pure and utter dominance he displayed throughout the playoffs. Whoops, almost forgot.

  11. Everyone is blinded by a career year. Look at Beltre’s numbers before Boston. That is what the rangers will get! The Rangers got ripped off! 96mil for a player on the downside of his career (which isn’t much of a career) who won’t get anywhere near a 300 BA ever again and will not hit more than 25 HR’s.

  12. Big win here for the Rangers. Vlad’s second half production was bad. Young plus Beltre with the huge difference in defense at third base is much better than Vlad plus Young.

  13. num3fan 5 years ago

    Even IF we assume Brandon Webb picks up his game this year, then it’s only fair to assume the young Oakland starters continue to play even better and better. Eh?
    With that in mind, Texas’ rotations still gets worse (Texas – Lee + Webb= Not the same), and Oakland’s gets better. Yes? (Hypothetically)
    Then of course, Texas has the better offensive addition (all in Adrian Beltre who could put any numbers. No guessing there.) Unfortunately, offense was not what they needed.
    And with Oakland’s offensive additions (DeJesus, Hideki, Willingham), while not as grand as one power bat, wouldn’t you have to give the edge to the A’s?
    Unfortunately, with the injury effect…it should end up pretty close. It’s gonna be a great season. :)

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      The thing is Lee wasn’t a huge contributor to the Rangers during the regular season. The Rangers went 6-10 on the days when Lee started. I know someone earlier was mentioning the number complete games he had, but the Rangers went 1-2 in those games. All in all, not signing Lee isn’t a loss when compared to last years staff which was actually above average.

      Anyway. Athletics clearly have the better staff, they have possibly the best in the AL and could potentially be better than Philly or SF. But the Rangers staff is better than people think, not great, but at least slightly better than average. Offensively, even simply assuming Beltre replaces Vlad, the Rangers are clearly better. I’d say the Rangers have a slight edge overall, but that’s basically assuming a lot of variables.

      So I agree. It should be a good race in the West. Look forward to September… Rangers play the A’s 6 times.

      • coachofall 5 years ago

        I know he is a great player but Josh Hamilton’s year was so far grreater than anything he has done previously in his career I would assume there has to be some sort of regression. Brandon Webb is throwing in the low 80’s and the Rangers will be lucky to get out of him what Harden gave them last year. Rangers are still the team to beat but I don’t think its going to be decided until late in the season.

  14. bjsguess 5 years ago

    This isn’t rocket science.

    — Beltre averages between 3 and 4 WAR (take out his absurd 2010 season and look at the previous 5 years).
    — Young will be worth between 1.5 and 2 WAR (after positional adjustment)
    — Total = 4.5 WAR to 6 WAR

    — Keep Young at 3rd and you get 2.5 WAR
    — Vlad last year was 2.6 WAR. A reasonable estimate would be between 2 and 2.5 WAR
    — Total = 4.5 WAR to 5 WAR

    The most likely outcome is a total wash. There is more upside with the Beltre move. Maybe an extra win. However, that win comes at a high price. Beltre + Young = $32m vs Vlad + Young = $22m (or so).

  15. Pete 5 years ago

    As an A’s fan: Urban speaks for none of us. Sure would be nice to have ONE free agent hitter take a long term deal in Oakland, but Texas doesnt have the pitching to run away with the division. Its so even right now its going to come down to injuries. No butthurtedness* at all.

    *first time I ever wrote that non-existent word. Really wish posters here would class it up a bit.

  16. MaineSox 5 years ago

    Why would you assume he will hit in Arlington like he did in Safeco?

  17. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    So basically you’re eliminating stats that don’t help your argument despite that was the first time in years Beltre hit in a hitters park?

  18. MaineSox 5 years ago

    I know your position on Young and I don’t disagree at all, but I was looking and did you know they got -0.4 WAR out of their first basemen total last year? They could theoretically put him at 1B (unless they think Moreland is supposed to be something with a full year at 1B) and actually “gain” 2-2.5 WAR and still go after a DH.

  19. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    But overall his numbers did dip during the second half of the season.
    First half: .319/.364/.554
    Second half: .278/.322/.426

  20. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    I didn’t say he tends to fade. But he’s 36, so any numbers dip is cause for questioning.

  21. David C. Ruckman 5 years ago

    In reviewing Vlad Guerrero’s career in the 21st century, we have to backtrack all the way to 2001 before we see a second-half regression from The Impaler. And in that year, the only real reason he “regressed” was because he hit a ridiculous .327/.393/.621 with 21 home runs and 67 runs batted in before the All-Star Game. Otherwise, he’s performed very consistently in his power numbers and run creation from start to finish. The average may fluctuate here and there (mostly a significant bump after the Break), but that doesn’t say much when his other stats are reviewed.

    Guerrero turns 36 next month and continues to mash. Unfortunately for him, Josh Hamilton “Hulked up” in 2010 and hit well over .400 two months in a row, forcing pitchers to hone in on Guerrero and other members of the lineup. It also doesn’t help that Hamilton, Kinsler, and Cruz all battled injuries at times this season.

    While Guerrero slumped to a .210 average in July, Hamilton was hitting well over .400 and Cruz was booming at a .340 clip. It’s all part of the ebb and flow of the game, especially when you consider the on-again, off-again hitter that Cruz can be. Bad luck happens sometimes as pitchers begin to refocus on different hitters to get the outs they need.

    And, I mean, we can make the “road OPS” point all we want, but Guerrero remained productive: 13 home runs, 52 runs batted in, and 19 walks compared to only 27 strikeouts.

    I remain interested in seeing where Guerrero will end up, and I truly feel he will continue to excel. He is one of the few elites who has dominated every year in the last decade and, while slowing down a little bit, I feel he will still produce at an above-average rate with another franchise.

  22. Steve_in_MA 5 years ago

    Exactly, especially when we have evidence in 229 scattered at bats AT ARLINGTON, that he hits .306 there. BJ’s using junk math and rationalizing exclusions to try and justify a faulty opinion. Beltre will be a +4/+5 WAR player on his own at Arlington, and maybe even better. I’m never going to argue that Beltre is worth the years he got from Texas, but the dollars per season are not far above mean value for his performance.

  23. MaineSox 5 years ago

    Yeah the price is about 10x what he should be paid, but if they are dead set on keeping him with the team it makes more sense than making him the DH. But as you said Davis and Moreland should both be much better than they were (and better than Young likely) so it isn’t really the greatest answer either.

  24. Victor Kipp 5 years ago

    Maybe he should take “the clear” and “the cream” like bonds and have his best years at 36-39..

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