Adrian Beltre Rumors
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.
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...
- MLBTR's Tim Dierkes talked baseball with Roy Shelton of NetDugout.com.
- The Rangers do like Adrian Beltre, but as MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan explains, they could be showing interest partly to drive up the third baseman’s price for the Angels. Click here to vote on Beltre's next team.
- Matthew Carruth of FanGraphs shows that lots of talented players, including Cliff Lee, have moved from the AL to the NL this offseason. The Senior Circuit "looks like it is making inroads against the American League for next season."
- Dan Wheeler explains to John Tomase of the Boston Herald that he realized he had to trust his stuff in the 2004 NLCS against the Cardinals. Wheeler and Bobby Jenks are two of most recent additions to the group of well-established right-handers in Boston's 'pen.
- In a separate piece, Tomase examines the Red Sox 'pen, which was "an unquestioned weakness" last year, but could be a strength in 2011. Lefties Felix Doubront, Andrew Miller and Rich Hill will compete for a spot and Matt Albers and Scott Atchison will also be in the mix.
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?
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
5:36pm: A source insisted to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick that the Angels still want to sign Beltre.
2:35pm: The Angels pulled their offer to Beltre but have not shut any doors on him, reports DiGiovanna.
1:13pm: We learned Friday that the Angels' offer to free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre is believed to be in the five-year, $70MM range, with the player seeking a sixth year. The Halos' offer is "not likely to be increased," Mike DiGiovanna wrote at the time. Beltre himself told Scott Lauber earlier this month that the years are the most important factor.
Scott Boras seeks the sixth year, or at least something in the $85-90MM range on a five-year deal according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal says the Angels "are not angry to the point they were two years ago, when they publicly withdrew from the negotiations for Mark Teixeira."
Rosenthal adds that the Rangers are not active in the bidding, making the Angels' competition unclear. A month ago Beltre was said to have a dozen suitors, but many teams have filled third base holes since then. I think Boras could probably find several clubs willing to go to five years and $60MM or so, but there is no evidence the Angels need to increase their offer.
After a morning of headlines involving Zack Greinke, let's not forget that there are still plenty of trade targets and free agents remaining on the market. Nick Cafardo has the latest updates on a few of them in his newest piece for the Boston Globe....
- The Red Sox have been listening to offers for Jonathan Papelbon. When the team made a three-year, $51MM offer to Mariano Rivera, the assumption was that, on the off chance Rivera accepted, Papelbon wouldn't be back next season.
- Even if Papelbon remains a Red Sox through 2011, there's an understanding that he'll explore the free agent market. Boston only expects to re-sign him if he agrees to a team-friendly deal like those signed by Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Jon Lester.
- The article names the Rangers and Angels as a couple teams who could have interest in trading for Papelbon, though it appears to be mostly speculation on Cafardo's part.
- While the Rangers and Halos also appear to be the two leading suitors for Adrian Beltre, Cafardo wonders if a mystery team could be involved, given the silence surrounding the third baseman lately. As we learned during the Cliff Lee derby, you can never entirely rule out those ever-looming mystery teams.
- Cafardo writes that Carl Pavano likely won't sign until at least later this week, unless a team ponies up and makes him an offer in the ballpark of $36MM over three years. Of course, at the time Cafardo's column was published, the Brewers' acquisition of Greinke wasn't confirmed. With Greinke off the table, teams who missed out on the Royals' ace may feel a greater sense of urgency to get something done with Pavano. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports suggests that a reunion with the Twins appears likely for Pavano, following the Greinke trade.
- The Red Sox have tried to re-acquire Justin Masterson from the Indians, but have been denied so far.
- Gabe Kapler would like to keep playing, and is "waiting for the right situation."
SATURDAY, 8:40am: The offer to Beltre is believed to be in the five-year, $70MM range according to Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times. It has not been accepted and is unlikely to be increased.
FRIDAY, 2:42pm: Angels owner Arte Moreno told Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times that he has made Adrian Beltre "what [the Angels] believe is a significant offer." Beltre and agent Scott Boras, who also reportedly fielded an offer from the A’s, have not accepted Moreno’s proposal.
Moreno denies that the Angels made Carl Crawford a formal pitch before he signed with the Red Sox.
"There were rumors out there, but we never made an official offer, and no parameters were discussed," Moreno said.
Moreno says that GM Tony Reagins "never had the chance" to make the left fielder a proposal, since by the time the Angels met with him at the Winter Meetings, he already had a deal.