Adrian Beltre Rumors

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.


Rangers Notes: Beltre, Young, Pettitte

The Rangers have been busy today, finalizing deals with Brandon Webb and Arthur Rhodes and designating Clay Rapada and Max Ramirez for assignment in the process. Here are a few more notes on the defending American League champs, from MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan:

  • Team officials don't seem optimistic about signing Adrian Beltre. Click here for the latest on the free agent third baseman.
  • The Rangers have asked Michael Young what he thinks about switching positions again and he was not receptive to the idea. Troy Renck of the Denver Post hears that the Rockies aren't likely to discuss potential Young trades with the Rangers (Twitter link).
  • Earlier in the offseason, the Rangers were interested in Andy Pettitte, according to Sullivan. However, they heard that the lefty will either return to the Yankees or retire. ESPNNewYork reported today that the Yankees expect to hear from Pettitte soon. 

Adrian Beltre Rumors: Monday

Multiple reports suggested that the Rangers and Adrian Beltre were close to an agreement on a multiyear deal yesterday, but it turns out that "nothing is remotely imminent" between the team and the third baseman. Though MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reported that the sides aren't nearing a deal, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says there "appears to be some hope" about a potential agreement. Here's the latest on the talks between Scott Boras and Beltre's suitors:

  • Rangers officials admitted to Sullivan that they like Beltre, but team president Nolan Ryan says the Texas infield remains unchanged. "As of right now, Michael Young is our third baseman," Ryan said. "We haven't done anything."
  • The Rangers' interest in Beltre is completely sincere, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. The 31-year-old wanted to return to Boston, but the Red Sox didn’t care to meet Boras’ asking price, according to Olney.


Rangers Talking With Adrian Beltre

10:30pm: After talking to Rangers officials, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan writes, "There appears to be some mutual interest on both sides, but nothing is remotely imminent."

6:52pm: Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the two sides are close to agreeing to a deal (link in Spanish). An agreement "appears imminent" according to one of Rojas' sources, while another tells him it will "probably" be a five-year contract with an option for 2016.

SI.com's Jon Heyman tweets that nothing is done, but "there appears to be some hope." Jeff Wilson of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram echoes Heyman's report (Twitter link).

3:14pm: While the two sides have no deal in place, the Rangers remain in contact with Adrian Beltre, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link) have both shot down a report out of the Dominican Republic earlier today that said the Rangers had signed Beltre to a six-year deal.

With Michael Young, Elvis Andrus, and Ian Kinsler all entrenched in the Texas infield, it would seem an unlikely match at first. However, the Rangers had some discussions at the Winter Meetings about sending Young to multiple teams, and this is far from the first time we've seen them linked to Beltre. Young could also be shifted into a designated hitter role in the event of a Beltre signing.

As WEEI.com's Alex Speier points out, Texas landing Beltre would represent a best case scenario for the Red Sox, as the Rangers' first round pick is unprotected, while other suitors such as the A's and Angels would only net Boston a second-round selection. In a poll just before New Year's, 11.55% of the near-12,000 MLBTR readers who voted thought Beltre would land in Texas.

According to Morosi, Scott Boras is seeking a five-year deal worth at least $85MM for his client, which is on par with ESPN's Buster Olney's take in late December. Despite ongoing discussions with the Rangers, Morosi says the Angels are still viewed as the favorite to land Beltre.


Odds & Ends: Greinke, Young, Rangers, MacLane

Links for Sunday….

  • SI.com's Jon Heyman says the "word is" that the Nationals offered Zack Greinke a big contract extension in an effort to entice him to join their team (Twitter links). He simply didn't believe the Nats could win, so he instead waived his no-trade clause to go to the Brewers. 
  • A source told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Rangers and Rockies have not had any serious talks about Michael Young in the last week, so if he does get traded, it will likely be to a team that did not show much interest in him at the Winter Meetings (Twitter links). 
  • Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News offers a "semi-educated guess" that if the Rangers do sign Adrian Beltre, they'll shift Young to a DH/utility role rather than trade him (Twitter link).
  • NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman passes along a Japanese report that has the Orix Buffaloes set to acquire Evan MacLane from the Cardinals. An official announcement is expected soon.
  • Cole Hamels and the Phillies haven't yet begun discussions for a multiyear extension, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes noted when he examined the Phillies' four aces, Hamels is arbitration eligible after next season and can become a free agent after 2012.
  • ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider required) shares a list of 36 potential MLB storylines for 2011. Olney's list includes the Albert Pujols negotiations, Heath Bell trade talks, and C.C. Sabathia's out clause.
  • The Jason Bartlett trade potentially opened up a spot on the 25-man roster for long-time Rays' farmhand Elliot Johnson, according to Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times.
  • WEEI's Rob Bradford and Alex Speier attempt to determine whether Hideki Okajima is likely to rebound for the Red Sox in 2011.
  • Roch Kubatko of MASN can't see the Orioles signing a full-time DH now that Derrek Lee is on board.
  • Police say Alfredo Simon is the primary suspect in a fatal shooting in the Dominican Republic, reports the Associated Press (via the Miami Herald). Simon insists he was not involved in the incident, according to Orioles Dominican representative Felipe Alou Jr.

Cafardo On Blanton, Beltre, Indians, LaRoche

In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe names ten teams who might reap the benefits of bargain shopping as the winter winds down. The Rays, Mets, Yankees, and Angels top the list of clubs Cafardo thinks could make discounted moves in the coming weeks. Here are the rest of his hot stove notes:

  • While the Mets will be hunting for affordable starting pitching options, don't expect the Phillies to trade Joe Blanton within the division.
  • The Angels are making sure they don't bid against themselves on Adrian Beltre, and could eventually land the third baseman for a lesser price than Scott Boras is seeking.
  • The Indians could make some more moves if they want to continue stockpiling prospects. Other teams would have interest in players like Chris Perez, Rafael Perez, Joe Smith, and Fausto Carmona, while Cleveland would "love to trade" Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner.
  • The Nationals "know it’s tough to get players to buy into the future of the team," writes Cafardo. As such, they may eventually commit to Adam LaRoche for the three years he's looking for.
  • Jim Masteralexis, Manny Delcarmen's agent, says several teams are interested in his client, and Cafardo warns not to bet against the Rays.
  • Carl Pavano may make a decision this week, and it appears that while he'd prefer to return to Minnesota, the Nationals will offer the better contract. Of course, we already saw one top free agent pitcher choose comfort over more guaranteed money, when Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies.

Odds & Ends: Rangers, Wheeler, Red Sox

Links for Thursday, exactly one year after the D'Backs signed Kelly Johnson. Former Arizona GM Josh Byrnes deserves credit for this shrewd addition. Here are today's links…


Poll: Where Will Adrian Beltre Sign

The team that opened the bidding for Adrian Beltre has reportedly removed itself from the sweepstakes for the third baseman and now the top position player available doesn't appear to have many suitors left. The A's aren't bidding, and though the Rangers maintain some interest, they aren't an ideal fit for Beltre.

The Angels, who made Beltre a significant offer earlier this winter, remain the most logical fit for his services. They have since pulled their offer, but have continued interest despite agent Scott Boras' asking price. It seems likely that Beltre will return to the AL West, but let's not put it past Boras to involve more teams. Beltre will sign with some club within a couple months – which one will it be?


Athletics Out On Adrian Beltre

The Athletics pulled out of talks with Adrian Beltre this week, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  They made multiple offers for the third baseman this winter, but will now look at relievers Chad Qualls and Hideki Okajima and possibly a different third base option.

Rosenthal says the Rangers maintain interest but "remain uncomfortable with both the price and fit" for Beltre given incumbent third baseman Michael Young.

Unless a surprise team jumps in, the Angels remain the favorite despite pulling their offer.  It does not appear that their situation has changed since these reports eight days ago.


Nolan Ryan Talks Lee, Webb, Beltre, Hamilton

Rangers president Nolan Ryan appeared on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket recently, and the Dallas Morning News transcribed key comments.

  • Ryan believes that teams these days are "overpaying some free agents that probably shouldn’t be getting paid what they are."  He has a three to four-year comfort level on free agent contracts, which of course the Rangers exceeded in their Cliff Lee offer.  Noted Ryan, "And the thing is that Cliff could have gotten even more money than that if he'd been willing to go to another ballclub, which wouldn’t have been that competitive."
  • The Rangers "are probably getting really close" on a Brandon Webb deal, in Ryan's words.  Webb's physical is expected "early this week," tweeted Ken Rosenthal on Sunday.
  • Asked about significant remaining additions, Ryan pointed to available designated hitter candidates.  He even talked about how the Rangers could sign one DH and "then sign another one that might be good from the other side of the plate."
  • Ryan admitted interest in Adrian Beltre, but suggested his team's fit for the third baseman is less clear-cut than the Angels or Athletics.
  • Asked about acquiring a center fielder to allow Josh Hamilton to shift to left, Ryan instead pointed to internal center field candidates Julio Borbon and Engel Beltre.
  • Ryan gave a general reply when asked how the Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth contracts will affect Hamilton.  Ryan said that huge contracts have an impact on the entire game, and demonstrate the importance of developing from within.  Hamilton is entering his second arbitration year; he's under team control through 2012.  The Rangers have decent raises due for 2011 with Nelson Cruz and C.J. Wilson also among their arbitration eligible players.