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Blog Entry

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

Posted on: January 4, 2011 1:29 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 1:42 pm
 

Striking to tighten their grip on the AL West, the Rangers are close to a deal with free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre that will lock him up in Texas for the next six years, sources with knowledge of the talks confirmed to CBSSports.com.

The deal with Texas appears just about done, with one of the last remaining steps a physical examination for Beltre. Assuming no problems there, the Rangers are expected to announce what is believed to be a six-year, $96 million deal for Beltre, probably later this week.

As second choices go, there are far worse.

Though Texas swung and missed at this winter's free agent plum, Cliff Lee, the Rangers still will accomplish part of their winter goal of strengthening their pitching staff simply by adding Beltre, 31, a two-time Gold Glove winner and recognized as one of the best defensive third basemen in the game.

Multiple reports out of Texas suggest that All-Star Michael Young, the incumbent third baseman, has agreed to shift to designated hitter to make room for Beltre. That is just another testament to as classy and as professional a player as there is in the game: This will be Young's fourth position change in the past decade.

He moved from shortstop to second base when the Rangers signed Alex Rodriguez, went back to shortstop after A-Rod was traded, then shifted over to third base to make room for then-rookie Elvis Andrus two summers ago.

Now, Young again will be displaced by a personnel move. However, anybody who has watched the Rangers, particularly in the postseason last year, would agree that Young struggled defensively at third base at times. In the World Series against San Francisco in particular, a handful of balls got by Young that cost the Rangers.

With Beltre at third, the infield defensive immediately will improve (and with Andrus at short, the Rangers will field as talented and entertaining a left side of the infield as there is in the game). And with Young at DH and perhaps spelling various infielders at times during the brutally hot Texas summer, the Rangers will retain their team leader, a guy who long ago became the heart and soul of the clubhouse.

Beltre, after going quiet with the bat in Seattle's huge Safeco Field during his time there, re-emerged offensively last summer in Boston. He hit .321 with 28 homers and 102 RBI. His 49 doubles led the league, while his .365 on-base percentage and .553 slugging percentage both were close to career highs for the 13-year veteran.

The move at the same time improves Texas -- even though last year's DH, Vladimir Guerrero, now is not expected back -- while striking another blow to the beleaguered Los Angeles Angels. Texas' chief AL West rivals also were trying to lure Beltre, who becomes the latest free agent to decline the Angels' money.

Los Angeles also took a strong run at Carl Crawford earlier this winter before he signed with Boston, and the Angels held talks with Lee before he signed with Philadelphia.

Comments

Since: Jul 13, 2010
Posted on: January 4, 2011 6:39 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

The Rangers aren't an evil empire, but they are falling into the trap of Beltre bigtime. And it's obvious because Boston and the Yankees didn't shell it out for these guys.

No the Yankees and red sox didnt sign this guy because they both have better 3rd baseman then Beltre, maybe not defensively but offensively they have better players at 3rd. the Yankees have Arod and the red Sox have Youkilis moving to 3rd now that they got Agon. Who would you rather have Agon or Beltre??? who would you raher have Arod or Beltre???

But to say this is a bad deal well you people are crazy...If you wanna look at all the overpaid players in the league this isnt a bad deal. beltre will in probably the most hitter friendly park in the league and he is a great defender. Any angels fans saying that they are glad they didnt sign this deal they are just lying...

One person said they would rather have Callaspo at third then have to pay beltre this much, HAHAHAHAHQAH thats hilarious well you probably were saying that same thing when the Red Sox signed Crawford for 7 yrs/142mill. HAHAHAH Callaspo???????? beltre is probably one of the best 3rd baseman in the league and you dont think he deserves this money??? when Arod is making like 30 million a yr???? get real people...seriously...



Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2011 6:25 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

Spartacus is absolutely right.Who cares how much they paid for him. He will make the rangers a better team.

Rangers fans may care in a couple years of so, especially if Beltre is hitting .265 with 20 HR instead of .300 with 28 HR, and certainly as his defensive range decreases, or he gets injured again....then when the Rangers are saying we can't sign this or that FA because, in part, of the money still being paid (over paid) to an aging, breaking down 3B with no trade value.  Maybe not, maybe Beltre hits .300 and averages 25-30 HR per year the next 6 years and wins 6 gold gloves, but the odds are against it.




Since: Feb 6, 2010
Posted on: January 4, 2011 6:19 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

As a Ranger fan, and I think I may be in the minority here, I like this deal.  The defense will be significantly stengthened by having Beltre at 3B.  The deal is apparently for only 5 guaranteed years, with a "minimum # of at bats" clause required to get the 6th year.  If Beltre is required to have 500 at bats, or 600 plate appearances in order to guarantee the 6th year, it makes more sense to add the extra year.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2011 5:22 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

Beltre bascially has stunk for all but 2 seasons.

I disagree.  He was a solid player in Seattle until he was hurt in 2009.  He never should have played that  many games - he could hardly get up to the plate sometimes.  But relative to his contract he didn't perform, and that's what people remember.  His .800 or so OPS in his non-standout years compares favorably with, say, Michael Young.

Young is much worse defensively, not better offensively, 3 years older, and has 3 years remaining on his contract.  If Beltre has a typical (not 2004 or 2010) he still has a strong chance to outproduce Young while shoring up the defensively hole.

If the 6th year isn't vested, Beltre's contract will run out at the same age Young's will.

I still don't like the signing because of the length of the contract and assumed market value, but there's no way I put in in a class with the Werth debacle.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2011 5:14 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

Anyone remember what kind of numbers he put up over the 6 years between his first breakout and his second? 

Yes.  Michael Young numbers, plus two Gold Gloves.  Lower average, more power, but comparable OPS.  Playing in Texas instead of Safeco Field isn't going to hurt him offensively, either. 

BTW, it was 2004, and he didn't win the Gold Glove that year.  He won two with Seattle before an injury-plagued 2009.



Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2011 5:10 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

I was just trying debating which deal would be worse, this or Werth. I think this might beat Werth out. Beltre bascially has stunk for all but 2 seasons. While he's a plus defender and at a position that probably makes him a bit more valuable than Werth the reason I think it's worse is twofold. 1, the Nats are desperate and can't get a FA to come without overpaying anyway while the Rangers were just in the series and can be patient. 2, the Rangers already have a 3rd baseman that's better offensively and not all that much older than Beltre.



Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2011 5:09 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal



career stats for those who want them.

Based off the Werth comment, it's true. That Beltre wasn't overpaid by those standards, but the Werth contract was pure stupidity as well. He's not going to give you his career season for the next two years, let alone the next seven. Stupid..

Beltre's down years' aren't bad compared to the average third baseman.

The one spike looks a bit like... Brady Anderson. But Brady didn't have consistent 20 home run power.

So is it roids, or a lack of effort when it doesn't mean a payday? Either way, it stinks.




Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2011 5:08 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

Beltre is a contract year player, so I can see him falling off a cliff once he banks his big, fat contract. The Rangers will rue the day they walked away from Vlade to sign this stiff.




Since: Jun 14, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2011 5:05 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

His numbers were better than Jayson Werth's, and is a third baseman so there's no way he was not getting a big contract close to what Werth got.



Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

Why is everyone acting surprised?

Beltre is THAT guy. It's him. Attitude, pushes more money, and Boras is really the cause of baseball inflation.

So... salary cap? NO WAY player strike, and baseball would dry up and die.

These guys are clowns, they make more money then they will ever see, and most famous guys won't even sign a baseball because they are afraid you'll put it on ebay and make money off of it?

SERIOUSLY?

I love baseball, and I'll continue to follow it, but these people that exploit for as much money as possible, the cheaters and the attitudes are terrible for the game. Scott Boras and greed are terrible for the game, we all know this.

Why surprised? Just boycott the bad players.. but wait.. the hug market teams have the most ravenous fans, New York, Boston, Philly, etc. They don't care if their team just buys championships.

The Rangers aren't an evil empire, but they are falling into the trap of Beltre bigtime. And it's obvious because Boston and the Yankees didn't shell it out for these guys.

Who is really an Adrian Beltre fan?


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com