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Rangers “still talking” to free agent Adrian Beltre

Jan 2, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners Getty Images

A report on a Dominican Republic-based website this morning had the Rangers and Adrian Beltre agreeing to a six-year, $96 million contract.  That was later found to be incorrect by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, but the Rangers are indeed talking to the free agent third baseman, according to FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, and seem to be one of the few teams with legitimate interest in meeting his lofty price tag.

It’s a decent fit if the Rangers can find a taker for 34-year-old third baseman Michael Young.  Beltre proved last year in Boston that he has the ability produce gaudy power numbers when hitting in a small park and he would provide a major defensive upgrade at third base.

The Rangers’ Ballpark in Arlington saw the seventh-most homers in baseball last season and the sixth-most total runs.  Fenway Park, for reference, hosted the seventh-most total runs.

Texas should have some expendable cash remaining from their failed pursuit of left-hander Cliff Lee and it appears that their only competition to land Beltre comes from the Angels.

Beltre, 31, is thought to be seeking a five-year contract worth about $85 million.

  1. Brian - Jan 2, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    in other news, I’m “still talking” to Zooey Deschanel, in which I mean I stalk her on twitter.

  2. JBerardi - Jan 2, 2011 at 6:37 PM

    “Texas should have some expendable cash remaining from their failed pursuit of left-hander Cliff Lee and it appears that their only competition to land Beltre comes from the Angels.”

    Boston fans should really be pulling for Texas to win this battle. If they sign him, they yield a first round pick to the Sox; if the Angels sign him, their pick is protected.

    • Ari Collins - Jan 2, 2011 at 6:55 PM

      I’m pulling for the Rangers to sign him for a number of reasons. He’d be able to prove that he’s not just great in contract years, that the problem, in fact, has been pitcher’s parks. He’d help the Rangers a lot, and I’d like for them to remain contenders. But yeah, one of them is that I’m a Boston fan, and I’d love for them to get a last extra first round pick before they revisit compensation picks.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 2, 2011 at 8:54 PM

      Like JBernardi, I am hoping that the Rangers sign him. At present, the Jays will get the Angels second round pick as compensation for Downs. If LA signs Beltre, that second round pick becomes a third round pick.

      • JBerardi - Jan 2, 2011 at 10:30 PM

        Worth mentioning at this point that the draft compensation system is one of the most arbitrary and illogical things ever created by anyone anywhere. Bang up job, MLB.

  3. jobooo - Jan 2, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    It’s in both Boras’ and Texas’ best interest to drive up the price for the Angels, so it I’m not going to put too much stock into either report – all involved have every reason to flirt with one another, and not a great deal of incentive to actually seal the deal. And although it does make some sense for the Rangers to get Beltre, it doesn’t make $96M worth of sense. I doubt they get any truly compelling offers for Young, anyhow.

  4. hardjudge - Jan 2, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    They could sign Beltre, move Young again, this time to first base and upgrade two positions at once. Their first base last year was horrible.

  5. sfbookreviews - Jan 2, 2011 at 8:42 PM

    The Rangers need to run away from this idea. Now. Throwing that kind of money at someone with such an uneven career is ludicrous. Despite what Ari said, Beltre has proven to be a walk year wonder and a massive contract dud the rest of the time. Whoever signs him will be desperate to trade him in two, three years max.

  6. stankfinger - Jan 2, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    Anyone dumb enough to sign Beltre to more than a 3 year deal is effectively giving him his retirement package. Might as well replace the word ‘Contract’ with ‘Albatross’ throughout the document. He’s the epitome of contract year heroics.

    • Brian - Jan 2, 2011 at 10:19 PM

      I think J.Dubbs has cornered the market on the term “albatross.”

  7. Ari Collins - Jan 2, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    http://www.halosheaven.com/2010/11/19/1825710/adrian-beltres-walk-seasons-and-other-illusions

    Beltre’s earned his contract every year in Seattle EXCEPT for his walk year. Unless you refuse to take pitcher’s parks or defense into account, of course.

    Not sure why I post this every time someone latches onto this inane Beltre Walk Year Theory. Probably just an xkcd-style “But someone is wrong on the internet!” kinda urge.

    • uyf1950 - Jan 3, 2011 at 9:17 AM

      Isn’t there a difference between a player earning his contract between the ages of 26 to 30 for on average $12M per over 5 years in Seattle versus a guarantee to that same player who if he gets a 5 year guaranteed contract for say $15M per over 5 years will now be between 32 years old at the start of that contract and 36 years old in the 5th and final year year of that contract (that assumes no vesting or option year that take him to a 6th year and to 37 years old)?

      • Ari Collins - Jan 3, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        I’d sign him for 5/80 or something thereabouts, but his age is definitely a fact you can use to argue that he’s not worth that. Just as long as you’re not parroting conspiracy theories as facts. He’s been durable and consistently good to great throughout his career, except for one year (the walk year that conspiracy theorists ignore).

  8. summerof67 - Jan 2, 2011 at 11:31 PM

    Ah, ha! So there is a mystery team after all. Beltre can produce a neat highlight reel, on offense as well as defense, but I am not sure he is really worth long tall green.

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