Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rangers Still in Mix for Beltre

Don't count the Rangers out of the running for Adrian Beltre just yet.  In an interview with 1310 Sports Radio in Dallas, team President Nolan Ryan indicated they still had interest in signing the power hitting third baseman.
“Well, when you have a player of his caliber out there, you have to have an interest if it’s realistic within what your budget is and how he would fit into your ball club and how you would hit him in the lineup and stuff of that nature. So, obviously with our ball club, it wouldn’t be nearly as clear-cut as somebody else, say whether it be the Angels and the rumor is that Oakland has made him offer. I would say if you looked at the free agent market right now, he’s probably the premier free agent that’s still unsigned.”

As I've mentioned before, the Rangers would have to move incumbent third baseman Michael Young and the $48M remaining on his contract before they could make a serious run at Beltre.  Outside of the Rockies, no one else has stepped forward as a viable (or even casually interested) trading partner.  Those talks came to a screeching halt three weeks ago, and there aren't any signs the Rockies are interested in re-opening discussions.  The only other option is to move Michael Young to another position like first base or a corner outfield spot.  Considering his reaction to being moved from short to third a couple of years ago, I doubt the Rangers are interested in an encore temper-tantrum by Young.

One thing I haven't previously mentioned regarding Beltre's free agency is his Type A designation.  If Beltre ends up signing with the Rangers, the Red Sox would receive the Rangers first round pick plus a "sandwich pick" between the first and second rounds.  If he signed with either the Angels or Athletics, the Red Sox wouldn't receive their first round picks as compensation because their first round picks are protected.  Instead, they'd receive a second round pick, plus the sandwich pick as compensation.  Obviously, for purely selfish reasons, the Red Sox are quietly routing for the Rangers to sign Beltre. 

The Rangers indicating any level of interest in Beltre is great for Scott Boras.  At the very least, he can use the Rangers as leverage in negotiations with the Angels and Athletics.  Without an official offer on the table, Boras needs all of the leverage he can get at this point.


  1. Nolan appears to be just driving up Beltre's cost for the Angels. Good decision because no one else is!

  2. Boomerangs -

    There was a great article on Athletics Nation the other day about Beltre's empirical worth. Pretty interesting take on the situation.