Tag:Adrian Beltre
Posted on: December 21, 2010 2:34 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2010 3:46 pm

Angels yank offer to Beltre

BeltreThe markets for Adrian Beltre and Rafael Soriano have moved incredibly slowly this winter, and while the Angels have made a bid on Beltre, no resolution seems close.

FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Angels have a five-year, $70 million tender out to the third baseman and are so far refusing to raise it to agent Scott Boras' preferences. Boras is seeking a five-year deal worth about $90 million, or a six-year deal with a similar payout to the five years.

The Angels have no reason to up the bid as it doesn't appear any other team is willing to commit the same amount of dollars to the third baseman. Oakland offered a five-year deal for around $60 million that was pulled after Beltre went weeks without responding, likely due to concerns about playing in the Oakland Coliseum. It's unknown if the A's could even afford Beltre after the trades for David DeJesus and Josh Willingham.

UPDATE: And the Angels continue their offseason of head-scratching decisions, having chosen to pull their offer to Beltre, as the Los Angeles Times reports.

As a team that seems to believe in only negotiating as if they are the only option (witness their low offer to Crawford and dragging their feet on matching Boston's offer, then owner Arte Moreno lambasting the deal), this now leaves the Angels in position with any other club for Beltre's services instead of pole position.

A source tells the Times that "the door is still open" for Beltre to sign with the club.

Why pull the offer then?

It's likely simply posturing, as Moreno has said in the past the team will not raise the offer on Beltre, while Boras is holding out for more.

One of these two sides have to blink at some point -- unless the vaunted mystery team drops in on the Beltre bidding.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 17, 2010 4:21 pm

Angels never made offer to Crawford

Arte Moreno A report after Carl Crawford signed with the Red Sox said he Angels made a late offer to match the deal. But Angels owner Arte Moreno said not only did that not happen, the Angels never made Crawford a formal offer at all.

"It's crazy. I paid [$183 million] for the team [in 2003], and now we're talking $142 million for one player?" Moreno told the Los Angeles Times. "Seven years on a player is a huge risk financially. [Crawford's] greatest asset is speed, and he's a very skilled athlete who would have fit perfectly in left field for us. But we didn't look at him as a power hitter in our stadium."

Moreno said that signing one player for more than $20 million a year would raise the payroll to a point where it would limit other options and force him to increase the Angels' fan-friendly ticket prices.

"You look at the economic risk and the franchise risk," he said. "The reality is, can I write a check for the player? Yes. But is it smart business in the long term? I don't think so."

Moreno said he and general manager Tony Reagins met with Crawford and his agents on the first night of the Winter Meetings, and were told Crawford "already had a deal," but not with whom. Two days later, he signed with Boston. Moreno said the Angels never discussed the parameters of any offer with Crawford.

Moreno said the Angels have made "a significant offer" to third baseman Adrian Beltre, who is reportedly seeking somewhere around $15 million per season.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 15, 2010 9:32 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2010 9:40 pm

Top 10 free agents remaining

Okay, so all the big names are off the board now, and quite a few solid names are gone as well.

Now teams are left to fight over the scraps, and how clubs go about filling their holes with the remaining names can have major implications on a season. There will be teams who are done spending and shopping for bargain-bin pickups, teams who have been jilted and can spread money around and more.

No more Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth or Victor Martinez may not be exciting, but there's still plenty more machinations ahead. The trade market may also start heating up now that teams can more clearly identify their holes or surplus players.

So who are the top 10 free agents left?

Gregg 10. Kevin Gregg

Gregg closed for Toronto in 2010 and surprisingly held his own in the AL East after years of being a miscast closer and flaming out of Chicago. He's still not a great option, but as someone willing to ink for just two years, Gregg's market may open up what with the crazy three-year pacts being handed out.

How about: The Orioles seem to be the top (only?) suitor for Gregg, so let's take the safe route here and tab Gregg to the O's. This would push Mike Gonzalez and Koji Uehara to setup roles, and give the O's what suddenly looks like an intriguing top three in the bullpen that could do wonders for the young rotation's confidence in nailing down wins.

Fuentes 9. Brian Fuentes

Fuentes is another mediocre closer but as a left-hander with strikeout stuff, is in plenty of demand as both a setup man and closer. Fuentes is looking to max out the years on his contract but has a top team in the Red Sox chasing him, plus plenty of other clubs with the financial wherewithal to import Fuentes.

How about: The Yankees. New York has money to toss around and a need for a left-handed reliever. Fuentes ranks above Pedro Feliciano in the remaining market for lefties and Fuentes may be willing to pitch just in front of Mariano Rivera. He's likely too pricey for Colorado.

Hall 8. Bill Hall

Hall revitalized his career in Boston as a super-utilityman and rediscovered the pop he left behind mid-decade in Milwaukee. Another good season would really open up his career prospects. He's been closely linked to the Dodgers, but there's no shortage of teams that would want him as a backup. The club that can offer him the most playing time is likely the team that snags him.

How about: The Dodgers. L.A. has made a habit of collecting average players and hoping quantity beats out quality. Problem: they still haven't solved their left-field conundrum. Hall makes a lot of sense here as he can back up at multiple positions and serve as insurance in case they need to move him out from left field.

Thome 7. Jim Thome

Thome is 40 years old and still bashing home runs, cranking 25 in 340 plate appearances for the Twins. However, he looks to be squeezed out by the impending return of Justin Morneau and emergence of Delmon Young. As someone who will come on a one-year deal and a cheap base salary, any team with a hole at DH has to be interested.

How about: The Rays. The market for DHs is small, but Tampa Bay are one such team that could use Thome's thump and have a DH spot -- and no potential for losing the spot -- waiting for him. In addition, Thome could benefit from the short porch in Yankee Stadium and the moving in of the right-field fence in Boston.

Jenks 6. Bobby Jenks

Jenks has often had a tumultuous career in Chicago as Ozzie Guillen hs never been a fan. However, Jenks was actually better than Rafael Soriano in 2010. Jenks's xFIP was 2.62, while Soriano checked in at 2.81. Over the next three years, Soriano is certainly the better property, but the point is that Jenks has actually been a better pitcher these last few years than given credit for.

How about: The Rays. Yes, Tampa Bay is slashing payroll, but they still have some room to spend dollars. They have an empty bullpen, putting them in position to pick and choose from any remaining reliever out there and handing them the closer's job. Jenks, however, is the only one who would likely accept a one-year deal to rebuild his value before hitting free agency again after the year. Tampa won't complain about that. (The Jays were the original pick here, but a Hardball Talk report that has Jenks and Tampa Bay close to an agreement changed that.)

Lee 5. Derrek Lee

Lee started the year hobbled by a thumb injury, and Aramis Ramirez's own struggles compounded the issue for the Cubs. Lee bounced back in the second half and showed he wasn't cooked with the Braves. However, his stock is down enough that a one-year deal could work in his best interest -- and teams would be only too happy to oblige.

How about: The Padres. Lee is a Northern California boy, and is the best first baseman remaining on the market. The Orioles seem focused on Adam LaRoche, and the Nats are talking to LaRoche as well, but Lee should provide the bigger bang for the buck in 2011. The Padres desperately need a first baseman and could make the case to Lee that they are better positioned to win in 2011 than either the Nats or O's.

Ordonez 4. Magglio Ordonez

Looking past how much Ordonez was overpaid the last few seasons, you see an outfielder still capable of hitting with the stick. His agent, Scott Boras, is currently being unreasonable in salary demands but since when is that news? Of the outfielders left on the market, Mags is the best bet of all to produce in 2011.

How about: The Tigers. Detroit still needs a bat, and that outfield as comprised (Ryan Raburn-Austin Jackson-Brennan Boesch) does not look pretty. There's motivation on both sides to get a deal done.

Pavano 3. Carl Pavano

Pavano is a quality starter, there's no doubt about that. He can soak up innings and function as a solid No. 3 in any rotation, but he seems to be benefiting from a positive groundswell of support as there's not much differentiating him from Joe Blanton. He's understandably trying to capitalize on a market run amok, but Pavano's injury history and advanced age is working against him here.

How about: The Twins. Minnesota wants Pavano back and Pavano wants back in the Twin Cities. It's possible that Pavano, seeking a three-year, $30 million contract, could leave money on the table to do so.

Soriano 2. Rafael Soriano

Soriano is a lights out reliever but seems to be suffering from a curious lack of interest. Yes, his pedigree as a closer is one reason for that as teams are balking at four years and a high salary. One might think teams are learning their lesson when it comes to overpaying for relievers, but unfortunately it appears that teams are only getting smarter when it comes to paying closers, not relievers as evidenced by the ridiculous three-year deals handed out to relievers. But riddle me this: if someone like Matt Guerrier can get three years, how can Soriano not demand four?

How about: The Rangers. Texas is scrambling to find a pitcher to replace Cliff Lee. Pavano's a possibility, but how well can he play in that park? It may be better to go for the quality arm in Soriano and convert Neftali Feliz to a starter.

Beltre 1. Adrian Beltre

The best player left on the market, Beltre can pick it with the best of them and enjoyed a strong season at the plate. There's enough question marks about Beltre's offense that he's going to have to move significantly off his salary demands unless he phones Oakland and asks for the five-year, $65 million deal to be put back on the table.

How about: The Angels. It makes too much sense for the Angels to sign Beltre. They have a gaping hole at third and missed out on Crawford. Beltre, meanwhile, has seen his suitors dwindle as the market hasn't broke in his favor. This is a match for both sides that is too obvious. Then again, the Crawford-Angels match was obvious as well. As long as Los Angeles continues to negotiate as if there are no other teams involved, they will continue to miss out. The Halos could stand to be more aggressive.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 12, 2010 9:30 pm

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

There's certainly cause for celebration in Boston these days, as the Red Sox have added Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to an incredibly deep lineup.

However, is the lineup any better than 2010, when Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre helped anchor it?

Check out the figures below for the players' 2010 seasons:

Victor Martinez 127 493 149 64 32 20 79 0.302 0.351 0.493 0.844
Adrian Beltre 154 589 189 84 49 28 102 0.321 0.365 0.553 0.919
Total 281 1082 338 148 81 48 181        
Carl Crawford 154 600 184 110 30 19 90 0.307 0.356 0.495 0.851
Adrian Gonzalez 160 591 176 87 33 31 101 0.298 0.393 0.511 0.904
Total 314 1191 360 197 63 50 191        

The bold numbers indicate who holds the edge in the categories in question.

So far, the new duo blows the old duo out of the water. More hits, runs and RBI by a comfortable margin. The one warning sign comes in home runs where Crawford/Gonzalez only lead by two but trail significantly in doubles.

There's one problem, though: while Crawford and Beltre both appeared in 154 games, there's quite a divide in games played by Gonzalez and Martinez. Gonzalez got to play in 160 while Martinez played in less thanks to being a catcher and missing time with injury. That limited V-Mart to just 127 games.

Let's look at the numbers again, but pro-rated over a full 162 games:

162-game projections G H R 2B HR RBI          
Victor Martinez 162 190 82 41 26 101          
Adrian Beltre 162 199 88 52 29 107          
Total 324 389 170 92 55 208          
Carl Crawford 162 194 116 32 20 95          
Adrian Gonzalez 162 178 88 33 31 102          
Total 324 372 204 65 51 197          

Now that changes things a bit.

There are a few caveats, however. First is the lack of impact defense has on this chart. Gonzalez and Crawford are Gold Glove-caliber players. Beltre is as well at third, but V-Mart certainly isn't a defensive catcher. In fact, Detroit plans to have him play the bulk of his time at DH.

In favor of Crawford and Gonzalez in this comparison is the fact that Gonzalez' power number should rise dramatically at Fenway. Crawford, too, may be able to get over the 20-home run hump that is causing many to scoff at such a lucrative deal for someone who has never hit 20 home runs. Given Crawford impacts the game in so many other ways and checked in with 19 home runs in 2010, it's a strange thing to scoff at.

In addition, it's no sure thing Martinez could repeat his numbers if he continued down the path of catching full-time, although he probably would have approximated his numbers once more in 2011. Beltre, on the other hand, has now turned in two sublime seasons in contract years and hasn't been a factor on offense otherwise. His volatility cannot be discounted.

Ah, but on the flip side, Martinez and Beltre both fill impact positions at catcher and third base. The former position is no easy feat to find above-average offensive production, while third base is important defensively and is no picnic to fill offensively.

First base and left field, on the other hand, are two of the easiest positions to find bats at -- and even defense, if one was so inclined. But defense at first and left is less important than other positions.

Will Beltre and Martinez outperform Crawford and Gonzalez next season offensively as well as defensively? Probably not, but the difference is a lot closer than one may think.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:39 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2010 12:45 am

Red Sox get Crawford: 7 years, $142M

Carl Crawford
No question which team improved itself most this week, not after word just broke that the Red Sox have won the bidding for the top position player on the free-agent market, outfielder Carl Crawford.

Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe broke the story on Twitter, saying the Red Sox have agreed to a seven-year, $142 million deal. Others have since confirmed the report. Earlier this week, Boston traded for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. That lineup is looking pretty fearsome.

Crawford, 29, is coming off his best season, in which he batted .307/.356/.495 with 90 RBI and 19 homers for Tampa Bay. He led the American League with 13 tripes and stole 47 bases, and won his first Gold Glove. Crawford has proven to be consistent and durable, playing at least 150 games in six of his eight seasons as a starter.

The Red Sox now have the option of moving Jacoby Ellsbury back to center field. Having a player with Crawford's speed and range in left in Fenway, with such a small area to cover, seems like a waste, but you'd think they will want to protect their investment. Trading Ellsbury also could be a possibility, especially as lefty-heavy as Boston's lineup is now. This almost certainly means the Red Sox are out on Adrian Beltre, but that was probably already the case.

This isn't going to make Angels fans too happy, as they were considered the favorite for Crawford and he was thought to be their top target. It could up the ante for bidding on Cliff Lee and Beltre, the biggest names left on the market for teams looking to make an impact signing (Yankees, Angels, Rangers).

As mlbtraderumors.com notes, Crawford would become the first position player in history without a 20-homer season to sign a contract worth more than $100 million. On annual average value, this also will be the biggest contract ever for an outfielder.

UPDATE: A source tells the New York Daily News the Angels had offered Crawford seven years at $108 million. I'm not great at math, but that's at least eleventeen million less than $142 million.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 4:36 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 4:38 pm

Angels expected to sign Carl Crawford

Crawford Two sources close to the Angels expect Carl Crawford to eventually land with the L.A. ballclub, as ESPN L.A.'s Mark Saxon reveals.

This jives with earlier reports that the Angels felt they were very close on Crawford and would eventually land the left fielder's services.

Not that this is news -- Crawford has been linked to the Angels since before he was even born. Okay, maybe not before Crawford was born, but pretty close to it.

Simply put, Crawford makes too much sense for the Angels. The club has money to burn and a desire to make a splash after a disappointing season dropped them to an 80-82 record.

Plus, Crawford is the epitome of what an Angels ballplayer is all about: defense, speed, and a well-rounded offensive game. Crawford will be good for around 30 doubles, 10 triples and and 15 home runs with 50 stolen bases. That's a playmaker that would instantly represent Angels baseball.

One problem: the Crawford saga could drag out to the point the Angels could be forced to make a decision on Adrian Beltre. There is mutual interest on both sides, but it's unlikely that the club can afford both Crawford and Beltre and the third baseman's market is starting to crystallize. CBSSports.com's Scott Miller says it is possible Beltre signs before the Winter Meetings end.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 7, 2010 10:55 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2010 11:14 am

Report: Rangers after Beltre

Adrian Beltre It seemed odd that the Rangers would be shopping franchise stalwart Michael Young, as reported this afternoon. But now we see the other part of their plan.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News has heard from several sources that the Rangers are clearing a spot at third base because they are trying to sign free agent Adrian Beltre to a long-term deal. Evan Brunell of Facts and Rumors suggested that very thing earlier in the day, but his idea was to have Young move across and settle the Rangers' revolving-door problem at first base.

However, Young has three more years left on his contract at $16 million per, and if the Rangers add Beltre, that would make for one expensive infield. They are talking with the Rockies about taking Young, and would likely have to pick up some of the salary, but moving him would clear some money off the books.

The question is, does a dalliance with Beltre signal that the Rangers are prepared to lose out on Cliff Lee? Beltre reportedly is asking for five years at $85 million, and it's tough to see Texas, which was 27th in payroll last season, doing both. That's not to mention the looming issue of designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE : The Rangers have told Michael Young he is staying put, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes. So much for that.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 6, 2010 1:25 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 2:07 pm

Beltre seeking 5 years, $70 million

Adrian Beltre is looking for five years and more than $70 million, ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets . I'm looking for a chauffeured Bentley and a pet monkey, but that's neither here nor there.

Beltre will be 32 in April, so he'd be 37 at the end of a five-year deal. But heck, he's a Scott Boras client, so who am I to say what he can't get. With the A's having pulled out of the negotiations (reportedly) and the Red Sox no longer needing him, it appears it's down to the Angels and a mystery team. Except that the Nationals already have Ryan Zimmerman at third base.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

UPDATE : Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says Beltre wants $85 million. Yeah, don't see that happening.

-- Evan Brunell

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