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: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

Why the hell does this guy not have a player page?  Pendency of the deal making him teamless at the moment?  I can't think of any other reason.

Anyway, in fruitlessly searching for his player page, I found out there are two other Beltres playing in the majors, and they both play for the Rangers.  What are the odds?

And my original point: This guy has had two great seasons in his career.  One was last year; the other was, I believe, 2002 (the GG, .340, 40 HR, 120 RBI year).  After that first big season, he signed a huge deal with the Mariners.  Anyone remember what kind of numbers he put up over the 6 years between his first breakout and his second? 

Just saying.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2011 4:55 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.

I'd agree with this if it were a one year deal.  But its not, its long term and the signing will negatively impact the team's ability to sign free agents for years.  When you sign a guy for this much money, for this many years, you'd better be sure he's THE guy you're going to count on, because it's going to be that much harder to improve elsewhere.

Fortunately, the Rangers have been producing excellent prospects, and if those guys pan out they won't have the same need to sign impact free agents in the next few years.



Since: Dec 5, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

EGAD......

Beltre has had exactly two seasons where he hit at least .300 and drove in 100 runs. Both were seasons in which he was looking to cash in on a mega deal soon to follow. Am I the only one who doesn't think that there is no way that he will earn a third of this money?

As far as some of you making the whole Safeco Field excuse, well, it didn't seem to bother Griffey, Ichiro, ARoid, hell, even Bret Boone was good there. I'm sorry, but the minute you give Beltre any security, he disappears like a fart in the wind.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

Another thing: The A's, Angels and Mariners will still be looking up at the Rangers in the standings. All of the fans from those teams will say what they want about this deal, but they all wanted their team to sign Beltre as well.

Um, no.  Seattle fans have already down this "Big Contract for Beltre" road and don't want to repeat it.  Pretty arrogant and ignorant to assume they would.

Here's what Beltre can be counted on for:  Excellent defense.  .265 and 20-25 home runs and a decent contact rate.  Texas is paying him as if he'll play like he did in Boston.  Seattle paid him as if he'd play like he did in Los Angeles.  Maybe it will work out better for Texas than it did for Seattle, but I think any expectations beyond his typical (not average, but most common) year is just silly.  I don't subscribe to the steroid accusations because I don't think there's enough to stand on.  I also don't think he's a clubhouse cancer.  He wasn't a leader in Seattle, but he often played hurt and didn't cause problems, either.  Everyone saw the overreaction to having his head touched last year in Boston, but so what?  That's a silly reason not to appreciate a guy and it looked like he actually had fun with that whole thing by the end. 

I just think that's insane money for a great defender and above average but not great offensive player.  If he produces those .919 OPS-type numbers in Texas, he'll make all of us who are shaking our heads look dumb.  But I'd bet money he won't, based on his incredibly inconsistent track record.

For all the Michael Young fans out there, I don't see this leading to Young being shipped off.  His contract is almost as ridiculous as Beltre's, making him very tough to move.  $16M a year for below average defense, somewhat above average offense, and "grit" for the next three years is an awful lot.  I like grit, so I'm not taking anything away from it.  I'm just saying don't be surprised if Beltre outproduces his fellow $16M/year 3rd sacker in 2011, and in the coming years (he is 3 years younger than Young), making it the Young contract the team regrets.



little ceasars
Since: Jan 1, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2011 4:51 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Feb 6, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2011 4:48 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

Being a huge Red Sox fan I loved having Beltre last year.  But, to give him 90+ for 6-7 years is crazy.  I think last year was one of the few years he wasn't hurt for most of the season.  Give him that kind of money he is sure to be hurt more often!



Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: January 4, 2011 4:46 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

Hey, Beltre will be 34 in the 3rd year of this deal! How will his range be then?



Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2011 4:39 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

@BTR

unless youre on roids 34 isnt your prime and young has absolutely no range anymore



Since: Mar 24, 2010
Posted on: January 4, 2011 4:39 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

smart man here...nicely said



Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: January 4, 2011 4:29 pm
 

Rangers, Beltre close to a deal

Boras is a magician and the new front office in Texas is now officially just as bad as Tom Hicks.

Forget the contract, which is bad enough, from a clubhouse chemistry perspective this move is a disaster.  You take Michael Young, the face of the franchise and a bona fide all star in the prime of his career and you reward his contributions be making him sit on the bench?  I know he gets to DH but he is way too young not to play in the field. If Pat Burrell can still be found playing defense then it's hard to believe that they will make Young sit.  Even if Young doesn't complain about getting jerked around again I guarantee that others around the team will with Beltre, the original Mr. Congeniality, the surly source of the conflict.  Anyone wonder why Boston was fine with him walking away?

As long as they win, everyone will be happy, get off to a bad start and the whole team will implode.


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