Monday, January 3, 2011

Beltre Deal Imminent?

UPDATE (1/3/2011 at 7:07 p.m.):  Well, it appears the imminent deal with Beltre may be not so imminent at all.  According to T.R. Sullivan of, Texas officials are "not particularly optimistic" that a deal will get done with Beltre.  It's been quite a roller coaster ride for the Rangers and Beltre over the last few days, and I don't think we've heard the last of it either.

In related news the Rangers "sounded out to Michael Young about a possible position change."  Not surprisingly, he wasn't very receptive.  Really?  I'm shocked!  Two years ago, he handled his move from shortstop to third base so gracefully...

Original Post (1/3/2011 at 3:54 p.m.):  Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that a deal between the Rangers and third baseman Adrian Beltre is “imminent.”  

"They are still talking and have not completed the details, but an agreement appears imminent," the source told

Another source said the contract probably will be for five years, with an option for 2016.

Please exercise the appropriate level of skepticism regarding this report.  Yesterday, there were multiple reports out of the Dominican Republic claiming that Beltre and the Rangers had agreed on a 6 year $96M contract.  Each of these reports were later found to be incorrect by U.S. reporters.  Until I hear otherwise, I’m going to assume it’s just a rumor, albeit a very interesting one. 

Still, this is quite a coup for the Rangers if they did, in fact, land Beltre.  This would, of course, re-open the discussions of what do they do with Michael Young and the $48M he’s owed over the next three seasons.  Do they move him to designated hitter, as Dave Cameron of Fangraphs suggested the other day?  Or maybe first base?  Perhaps, they try to re-open trade discussions with the Rockies or some other team.  I’m not sure.  Either way, it should be very interesting to see how the Rangers handle this situation if the reports are true.

This is a huge blow to the Angels.  They desperately need an impact power bat, especially at third base where they received replacement level production out of three hapless players in 2010.  Beltre would’ve been an ideal solution for them both in the short-term, as well as the long-term.  Instead (assuming the reports are true), they’re stuck with the same trio of players at third base in 2011, unless they can come up with a creative solution. 

I don’t understand what’s going on with the Angels.  Owner Arte Moreno’s “take it or leave it” negotiating tactics don’t seem to sit well with players and their agents.  Until he and his front office learn to adapt the current free agent climate, the gap between the upstart Rangers and once mighty Angels will continue to get even wider. 

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