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Beltre allegedly turned down richer offers to come to Boston

Jan 5, 2010, 7:55 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for Adrian Beltre headshot.jpgIt’s probably rather galling to the rest of baseball that, in addition to being able to outbid just about everyone for any free agent, the Red Sox also get big discounts on guys who simply want to go there. That seems to be the case with Adrian Beltre:

Beltre turned down more money from at least two teams – he had a
four-year offer early in free agency and then a three-year deal for
roughly the same annual value as the deal the Red Sox offered – but he
chose Boston with an eye on having a big year for a contender and then
hitting the market again next year.

Take all of this with the usual grain of Boras salt, of course. Yes, it’s possible that Beltre had other more lucrative offers but took Boston’s because he wanted to win and wanted to make a splash on the big stage and re-enter free agency next year.

It’s also possible, however, there weren’t any other fabulous offers — at least not concrete ones — and this is spin created by Boras to camouflage the fact that he misread the market for his client and ended up having to come way, way down in money and years simply to find a job.

In other words, one man’s “opt-out” opportunity is another man’s “make good” deal. And unless we ever get confirmation of the other offers, we really don’t have any way of knowing which it truly was.

  1. Dan - Jan 5, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    I’m not totally sold on Theo’s move – replacing Bay and Lowell with two free swingers being the biggest concern – I must say I really like the fact that aside from Lackey, Theo has added three pretty solid free agents on such short contracts. He might be a bridge-builder after all. 😉
    And if Gonzales isn’t coming from San Diego, that means that Buchholz isn’t going anywhere. Based on last year, I am very comfortable with Clay as the number five starter and I think the rotation could be extraordinary particularly with Beckett on a salary drive and Dice-K being a guy who I suspect is very intent on proving that he can be a dominant starter in the majors.
    I hope they don’t ship Lowell off until they’re certain that Ortiz can be counted on as the DH though.

  2. Holla(r) - Jan 5, 2010 at 9:00 AM

    Dan, while I think there are questions about these moves (I happen to like them), Cameron is anything but a free-swinger, offering at a very low 17.4% of pitches thrown out of the zone last year. While he certainly strikes out quite a bit, it is more his low contact rate that is the cause of this than a lack of plate discipline. Free-swinger nicely describes Beltre, though.

  3. Dan - Jan 5, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    Be that as it may, Cameron is replacing a guy with a .376 lifetime OBP with his own .340. And for what it’s worth, I think of anyone with high K-rates as a “free-swinger”. Swing at what you can handle, you know? I guess what it boils down to is the inevitable fact that both Cameron and Beltre have holes in their swings, whether the ball is in or out of the strike zone. I love the defense and pitching (I think Jacoby excels in LF and would like to see Cameron in CF) but I do worry a bit about the offense.

  4. lar @ wezen-ball - Jan 5, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    Ah, you’re such a downer, Craig. Why don’t you just let Boras talk like that all he wants so Beltre and Red Sox Nation can feel all warm and fuzzy? We’re still required to pretend that Boston is a small-market town fighting the good fight against the big-pocket Yankees, right?

  5. Dave - Jan 5, 2010 at 9:24 AM

    Come people, do you believe ANYTHING out of Bora’s mouth?

  6. Grant - Jan 5, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    I dunno if I buy your logic. I think Cameron’s high K-rate is probably more likely to come from the fact that he doesn’t start swinging much until he has to, and by then it’s too late. Even the best hitters are pretty bad with two strikes.

    In any case, yes, Bay is/has been a better hitter than Cameron, and he’s also younger. But Cameron is cheaper and a better defender. I think the Red Sox outfield will be OK, and there’s always a deadline deal if somebody is hurt or ineffective.

  7. Oldtimer - Jan 5, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    He might hit 50 in Fenway.

  8. Fecteau - Jan 5, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    Yeah.. Although I loved Bay, being a person of Canadian descent, its nice to have a ‘countryman’ on your favorite team. but this is a business. Although the market is somewhat dry, the Sox did what they needed to do to keep competitive without signing some ridiculously long contracts (I like Lackey and think his contract was a year too long, but that’s OK) The moral of this story? I don’t guarantee a WS at the end of the year, but they still look solid, especially with 3 #1 starters, 2 #2 starters, and a Wakefield in a pear tree…
    Go Sox!

  9. H25 - Jan 5, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    Starting pitching (barring injury) looks very good, closer is good it will probably come down to the set up guys (it does with almost every team). Even if Bucholz/Ellsbury are in a deal for Gonzalez there is nothing wrong with Wakefield of a Michael Bowden as your number 5 guy (I would also be happy to see him coming out of the bullpen 3 times a week as well – Victor Martinez did a great job of catching him)

  10. Joey B - Jan 5, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    I like Bay as well, but 5 years for $83M is too much. I think Cameron will deliver more value per $, but even if we get $8M in value for $8M in salary, we’re still ahead of the game. In two years, the NYM will be paying a decling Bay (yes, everyone declines except Mo) $16M+. We’ll be paying minimum wage to Westie or Fuentes and have $16M to pay a top FA.
    IRT the offense, the additional offense provided by VMart and Scutaro should more than offset the decline from Bay to Cameron, and the more modest decline of Lowell to Beltre (assuming he’s healthy).
    And, of course, we no longer have to compete with KC as the worst fielding team in the league.

  11. Fecteau - Jan 5, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    Goo points. I concur! V Mart will be a great replacement for Tek, but man, wouldn’t it be sick to have Joe Mauer instead!? Maybe we can get Mauer next offseason, move V Mart to First, Youk to third, and Lowell can be DH (unless Papi proves hes better this year)

  12. Ladyfan - Jan 5, 2010 at 11:49 AM

    Oh my goodness! We got Beltre! Okay guys, I understand that from your point of view it probably does make a difference why he’s coming to the Sox, but from my point of view, we just went from a team with a very small chance of even coming close to outpowering the Yankees to a team that’s back in contention. I don’t care WHY we’re getting him, as long as we’re getting him. And if Theo is walking around the office today saying “uh-huh, how do you like me NOW” . . . he earned it!

  13. Gardy - Jan 5, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    The only way you or any other team will get Joe Mauer is over my dead body.

  14. CommonNow - Jan 5, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    Possibility of getting to the post-season now.

  15. You Sir..... - Jan 5, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    are a douche bag

  16. broadcastdon - Jan 5, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    WOW! Guys!
    This guy Beltre appears to be an odd sort of guy…I’ve watched him over the years with the Mariners. Not my type of teammate!
    And everyone’s excited about a guy who hit 8 dingers last season?
    Joe Crede played in around 100 games for the Twins and hit 15 HRs.

  17. Shely - Jan 6, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    I have heard of spin before, but this is too much. Beltre is not Bay, or Holliday, or any other player commanding big numbers. That is why he got the short contract on little dough. Come on, get you head on straight. If Beantown is going to compete this year, it will have to be through the pitching staff ONLY. The hitting will suffer, as David O,is not going to have another career year, and they lost Bay. They have J D, but who is counting on him to carry the team?

  18. Zoyd - Jan 6, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    You’re right to a degree. On paper the Sox have a great pitching staff, and if they’re going to compete pitching will lead the way. But the offense isn’t just Ortiz and Drew. You forgot about Youkilis, Victor Martinez, Pedroia, and Ellsbury. All four of them should provide plenty of offense.

  19. CommonNow - Jan 6, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    Is this deal real? It was not covered by the major networks or ESPN last evening. Besides this blog even MSNBC Sports does not mention it.
    Either way at least there is a 30-year old at the corner. Defense will increase and he will take his at bats. That is an improvement. I am upgrading from no-way to ‘might’ make the post-season.
    David O will never hit the marks he set mid-decade. The Sox are going to have to rely on speed. Small Ball may (should) be coming to the American League!

  20. dryer vent fire - Feb 3, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    I don’t generally comment on blog posts but I had to stop by and tell you thanks for posting this, I absolutely agree and with a little luck people will understand your point.

  21. Bridging - Feb 21, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!

  22. Jonathan L. Equity - Mar 4, 2010 at 10:37 AM

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  23. Judee Calculator - Mar 4, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    OMG what an idea!. Great article. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a Day of your Life for it.

  24. Ken Loans - Mar 5, 2010 at 6:39 AM

    Do you always remove negatibe post Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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