Adrian Beltre signed a one-year, $10MM deal with the Red Sox in January, turning down three-year, $24MM offers from the Phillies and Athletics. The Scott Boras client gambled that he'd bounce back in 2010 and exceed a two-year, $14MM deal after the season. So far, it appears that Beltre was smart to bet on his own talent.
Beltre was expected to provide strong defense and a useful bat, perhaps a .330 OBP with 25 home runs. Instead he's got a .330/.362/.509 line in 232 plate appearances. He's tied for ninth in the AL with 40 RBIs; reaching 100 for the second time in his career won't hurt his earning potential.
Beltre's contract includes a 2011 player option worth $5MM, which will increase to $10MM with 640 plate appearances this year. He's currently on pace for 637, so it'll be tight. The $10MM option was never terribly relevant, though – if Beltre played enough to reach 640 PAs, he'd probably have a season worthy of more than a one-year, $10MM commitment. Beltre is highly likely to decline his player option whether it's $5MM or $10MM.
I would not be surprised to see Beltre seek a four-year deal in the $50MM range at the outset of the offseason. He'll be competing mainly with Jorge Cantu, if Aramis Ramirez's rough start compels him to exercise a $14.6MM player option. Back in March, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein noted the possibility of signing Beltre long-term if he proves a good fit. At the least we'll see an arbitration offer, as the third baseman currently profiles as a Type B free agent.