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Adrian Beltre Rumors
Some links from the left coast…
- Adrian Beltre told Scott Miller of CBS Sports that he signed with the Rangers instead of the Angels because he felt Texas gave him "the best chance to put a ring on [his] finger." The third baseman wouldn't elaborate on the talks he had with the Halos before signing.
- ESPN's Keith Law hears that the Diamondbacks love Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen, a projected first round pick (Twitter link). Arizona holds the third and seventh overall picks in this year's draft, and Hultzen owns a 62:4 K:BB ratio in 34 1/3 innings this spring.
- Dan Hayes of The North County Times tweets that new Padre Pat Neshek isn't guaranteed to make the team because he still has a minor league option remaining.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post (via Twitter) could see the Rockies checking in on Michael Young now that the Rangers are reportedly willing to eat half of the veteran's salary.
- Renck also tweets that if Chone Figgins were made available, Colorado would be interested in him as a player but disinterested overall because of his hefty contract. Figgins is entering year two of a four-year deal worth $36MM, plus a vesting 2014 option for $9MM.
In today's notes column for The Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo writes about the Orioles' rebuilding process, which included renovations to the team's Spring Training and minor league facilities. "There was no magic formula," said president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. "We're not doing anything that hasn't been done before. The Orioles I grew up with did it with scouting and player development, and we're doing it the same way now."
Here are the rest of Cafardo's rumors…
- Both Yankees and Red Sox executives spoke out against revenue sharing last week, but no one wants a salary cap and the player's union won't allow one anyway.
- The early signs are good for Jake Peavy, who is coming back from a detached lat muscle. One scout called Peavy "trade bait for sure" if he's healthy and the White Sox slip out of contention. "Though teams may come after Mark [Buehrle] first."
- John Boggs, agent for Adrian Gonzalez, has not talked to the Red Sox about an extension since December, though something may be set up soon. Boggs will not be in Florida until the third week of March.
- The Brewers don't want to bring in someone like Bengie Molina in the wake of Jonathan Lucroy's broken finger because they know their young backstop will be back in a few weeks.
- When the Red Sox drew the line at four years and $52MM for Adrian Beltre, one of their fears was his potential to get hurt given his all-out approach. Beltre suffered a calf strain recently and may be out for up to a month.
A's GM Billy Beane appeared on the "Athletics After Dark" podcast to discuss his team's winter moves, including a few that weren't made. Here are some of the highlights…
On his overall satisfaction with Oakland's offseason…
- "It was probably the busiest offseason we've all had since I've been here and we think it's very, very productive."
- "When it's all said and done we're very pleased with how the winter shaped up. We improved the offense which we set out to do, and we did it without taking away from a very good defensive team that we had last year. We were able to improve the pitching which I don't think was necessarily something we set out to do other than maybe looking at the fifth starter spot….While we did need to address the offense, the pitchers that were available were going to help us give up less runs, so in turn we wouldn't have to score as many runs, which is a non-linear way of approaching the issue."
- "We're always optimistic and I think we're also realistic, too. Quite frankly, I've got a very, very good relationship with [Scott Boras] and I really enjoy dealing with him. He's probably one of the best, if not the best, representatives out there."
- "Scott was honest with us from the outset of the winter about what he wanted. It took a while, but [he] ultimately achieved that, and that was beyond our means. I had no problem with the way the thing played out except for the fact that [Beltre] went to one of our rivals and I think significantly improved [the Rangers]."
- "Usually you go into the free agent period thinking a player might cost you a certain amount, and in many and most cases, it ends up being more than what you thought it was originally going to be."
Quick notes from the game's only four-team division…
- Derek Holland told Anthony Andro of The Dallas Morning News that he didn't even know his name popped up in recent trade talks with the Rays."I didn't even hear the Matt Garza stuff," he said. "You have to sit back and just let it go. It's just talk. You don't know if it's going to happen or not. I just try to not worry about those things."
- ESPN's Buster Olney heard that the Athletics' final offer to Adrian Beltre was $76.8MM spread over six guaranteed years (Insider req'd). Beltre took five years and $80MM guaranteed from the Rangers, though a sixth year vesting option could put another $16MM in his pocket.
In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney solicited the opinions of various talent evaluators about yesterday's Matt Garza trade. The general consensus is that the Cubs made the move with the idea of contending in 2011 while the Rays made the move geared towards reloading for the future, somewhat acknowledging that the upcoming season "will be very difficult."
Here are the rest of Olney's rumors…
- Two sources tell Buster that the Angels' final offer to Adrian Beltre was $77MM guaranteed, or $3MM less than the guarantee he got from Texas.
- Carlos Delgado wants to come back, but it'll be very tough to do so when the free agent market features plenty of healthier DH-types.
- The Yankees are seeking a capable back-of-the-rotation innings-eater, but there are very few pitchers that fit that description available.
Adrian Beltre turned down offers from the A's and Angels before signing with the Rangers. It turns out that one of those offers was larger than initially thought. According to Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com, the A's offered the third baseman a six-year, $76MM deal, not a $64MM deal as we'd heard before. Peter Gammons first reported that the A's had offered $76MM (Twitter link). The Rangers outbid both of their AL West rivals, as the Angels reportedly offered a $70MM deal.
The 2016 option in Beltre's contract is complex, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains. Beltre needs 600 plate apperances with the Rangers in 2015 or 1,200 plate appearances in 2014-15 for the $16MM option to vest in 2016. If the option vests and Beltre's on the disabled list at the end of the 2015 season and a mutually agreed upon doctor determines that he's unable to play at a normal level by the spring of 2016, the team can defer $12MM of the third baseman's 2016 salary at 1% interest (Twitter links).
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.
Here are some recent updates on contracts from around the majors:
- Reliever Takashi Saito will earn a base salary of less than $2MM with the Brewers but incentives could push his salary close to the $3.2MM he made with Atlanta last year, writes MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. Saito could mark the Brewers' last major offseason acquisition.
- Adrian Beltre will earn $14MM in 2011, $15MM in 2012, $16MM in 2013, $17MM in 2014, and $18MM in 2015, according to Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Left-hander Chris Capuano gets a base of $1.5MM in 2011 but he could earn more than $4.5MM through incentives, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Padres agreed not to offer salary arbitration if Orlando Hudson, Brad Hawpe, or Aaron Harang end up being Type A free agents, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- If they make the Bucs' major league roster, Garrett Atkins and Brian Burres will earn $800K and $600K, respectively, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. If Atkins is not on the 25-man roster on April 1 or June 1, he can request his release. Burres also has an out clause of sorts as can sign with an Asian team for $50K between now and Opening Day or for $100K during the season.
The left side of the Rangers' infield should improve when Beltre joins defensive whiz Elvis Andrus. Since Andrus became a regular in 2009, he ranks seventh among MLB shortstops in UZR/150 and Beltre ranks second among MLB third baseman for that same time period. Beltre has had his highs ('04 and '10 stand out) and lows ('01, '05, '09) at the plate, but he has been an above average hitter and defender more often than not.
Beltre joins the defending American League champions on what will presumably be the last major contract of his career (he'll be at least 36 when the deal expires). For what it's worth, Beltre has a career .306/.336/.521 line in 229 plate appearances in Texas.
Here's what it means for the others involved:
- This could be the end of Young's tenure in Texas, but he won't be easy to trade and he adds value as a utility player, so the Rangers may keep him. Young, who has already proven that he can adjust to big league position switches, may have to play shortstop for the first time since 2008 and second base for the first time since 2003.
- With Young likely slotted for a DH/utility role, the Rangers' need for Guerrero decreases significantly. Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times said yesterday that a deal between the Rangers and Beltre would "greatly increase the chances of slugger Vladimir Guerrero returning to Anaheim." However, Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com hears that the Angels are not talking to Vlad.
- The Angels could have used Carl Crawford and Beltre, yet they did not sign either player. While the A's and Rangers have made a number of acquisitions, the Angels have been relatively quiet, adding left-handers Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi.
- The A's opened the bidding for Beltre with a five-year, $64MM deal. They'll now face him many times per year with Kevin Kouzmanoff at the hot corner.
The Red Sox
- The Red Sox will obtain two top draft picks next year since they offered arbitration to Beltre, a Type A free agent, and he turned it down. One draft choice 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.
- Bautista and Ramirez are set to enter free agency after the season. They're far from perfect comps for Beltre – Bautista may end up playing right field next year – but this deal could play in their favor if they hit free agency after strong 2011 seasons at third base.
- Did anyone expect Jayson Werth to sign for $126MM and Beltre to sign a deal that could make him $96MM? Finding the right deal for Rafael Soriano is another major test for Boras, who has found unexpectedly big paydays for his clients so far this winter.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI
The Rangers have won the bidding for Adrian Beltre and agreed to terms with the third baseman on a deal that keeps him away from Texas' AL West rivals, the A's and Angels. The team has announced the agreement.
Beltre and the Rangers agreed to a five-year $80MM contract that includes a $16MM vesting option for a sixth year, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). The agreement includes a limited no-trade clause, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). 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 this week 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 is 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. Yahoo's Tim Brown reported that the sides were nearing a deal and that the sides had an agreement (Twitter links). Heyman reported that the Rangers were making progress on a deal in the $90-100MM range (Twitter links) and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports and others also contributed to the story.