Adrian Beltre Rumors

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.    

Cafardo’s Latest: Uggla, Pavano, Matsuzaka, Ellsbury

In today's column, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe asked ten baseball people to select the ten most significant moves/non-moves of the offseason. Unsurprisingly, Adrian Gonzalez, Zack Greinke, Carl Crawford, and Cliff Lee topped the list. Here are the rest of Cafardo's rumors…

  • Talks between the Braves and Dan Uggla have slowed because he's seeking more money, but an extension should get done during the first week of January. Cafardo reported that the two sides were close to a five-year deal worth $60-61MM about two weeks ago.
  • The Orioles still have interest in Kevin Gregg and the Red Sox still have interest in Brian Fuentes, but other free agent relievers like Rafael Soriano, Grant Balfour, Octavio Dotel, Aaron Heilman, Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima and Jon Rauch remain in limbo.
  • Carl Pavano is holding out for three years, with the Nationals, Twins, and Rangers still showing interest. Cafardo adds the Mariners to the mix, with the caveat that they free up some money first.
  • The teams considering Pavano could also turn to Joe Blanton, who would certainly come cheaper.
  • The Red Sox "haven’t heard anything close to the value they would need in return" for Daisuke Matsuzaka.
  • The Angels and several other teams made a run at Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason, but the Sox "never heard any offer resembling proper value."
  • Cafardo wonders if Adrian Beltre is looking at a much smaller payday than originally anticipated. Last we heard, the Angels pulled their five-year, $70MM offer to the third baseman, but they remain in the mix to sign him.
  • David Aardsma is still trade bait and the Mariners wouldn't mind moving him for starting pitching depth. Earlier this week we heard Seattle wanted an impact bat for its closer.

Olney On Beltre, Adam LaRoche, Derrek Lee

The latest from ESPN's Buster Olney

  • Olney ranks the rotations, with the Phillies, Giants, and Athletics taking the top three spots.  It seems odd to see the Cardinals in an eighth-place tie, but there are a lot of good ones.  How does your top ten look?
  • The Athletics would talk to free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre again if the player is willing.  Beltre reportedly ignored Oakland's five-year, $64MM offer, which isn't much lower than the offer the Angels pulled yesterday.  Beltre appears to crave $85-90MM over five years, or a sixth year. 
  • The Orioles have been talking to Adam LaRoche's agents about a three-year deal in the $21MM range, though it was said yesterday they're at an impasse.  LaRoche had a near-miss on a multiyear deal with the Giants last offseason, though that offer came with undesirable options attached.  Olney says the Orioles are in the one-year, $8MM range with Derrek Lee, which should be close to enough.  Failing those options, Olney suggests a platoon involving Troy Glaus and Russell Branyan or Jason Giambi.