Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Beltre, Rangers Very Close to Deal

UPDATE (1/4/2011 at 2:24 p.m.):  According to T.R. Sullivan of mlb.com, Beltre will sign with the Rangers for six years and $96M.  The contract apparently would contain a clause (similar to the one in Magglio Ordonez’s contract) that would allow the Rangers to void the sixth season if he failed to accumulate enough plate appearances.  The final details still have to be worked out, but this appears to be a done deal. 

Original Post (1/4/2011 at 1:15 p.m.):  I told you we hadn’t heard the last of the Adrian Beltre to the Rangers rumors. 

According to Jon Heyman of SI, Adrian Beltre is close to signing a six year deal with the Rangers that’s expected to be worth $90-100M.  Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports confirmed Heyman’s report.  Perhaps those rumors coming out of the Dominican Republic on Sunday weren’t so bogus after all?

It’s still unclear as to whether the sixth year of the deal will be guaranteed or not.  Some reports have the sixth year being guaranteed, while others have it being a vesting option.  As more concrete information becomes available, I’ll be sure to post an update.  Either way, Beltre and Boras finally landed the deal they’ve been seeking for the past two offseasons. 

As I mentioned yesterday, this is a huge deal for the Rangers.  With Beltre’s arrival, Michael Young moves to DH.  This alone should provide a bonus of about 15-20 runs a year on the defensive side of ball.  Offensively, Beltre gives the Rangers another power bat that should have no problem putting up solid numbers in the run-happy environment known as the Ballpark at Arlington. 

As for the Angels, Beltre’s decision only complicates their issues further.  This offseason, they’ve fallen behind not only the Rangers, but also the Athletics whose young talented rotation makes them an outside threat for 90 wins in 2011.  According to John Sickles of minorleagueball.com, there doesn’t seem to be much help on the horizon coming out of the Angels farm system.  Super prospect Mike Trout is their only Grade A prospect, and he’s still a year and a half away from the big leagues.  Other than that, their best prospects seem to have ceilings on par with average to fringe major league players.  Futhermore, it doesn’t look like they’ll get much help from next year’s free agent crop either as it appears to be pretty underwhelming outside of Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, and Albert Pujols (the latter who’ll likely be re-signed in the next couple of months).  Unless the Angels come up with some creative alternatives (a la Billy Beane during their Moneyball hey day), the Angels could be in for a run of several disappointing seasons.

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