Wednesday, December 22, 2010

So What's Happening With Adrian Beltre?

With many of the top free agents already signed, people seem to forget that one of the best third basemen in the American League is still on the open market.  Adrian Beltre, who signed a one year deal with the Red Sox for the 2010 and proceeded to hit .321 with 28 home runs, 49 doubles, and 102 RBI, has fallen off the map recently.  No one is really talking about him, even though he was an all-star this past season and showed that he can still hit pretty well.  However, he has been an inconsistent throughout his career, having great seasons followed by average ones.

Right now, it looks as if the Angels are the front-runner to sign Beltre.  While they have retracted their latest offer to Beltre, which was reported to be around 5 years and $70 million dollars, they are still talking with Beltre and his agent Scott Boras.  The third baseman is reportedly after a six year deal or more money on a five year offer (roughly $85-90 million).  The Angels are badly in need of a third baseman, as top prospect Brandon Wood (who seems like he's been a top prospect for years) has never panned out in the majors.  Last season, Wood hit a paltry .146 in 226 at bats.  The Angels also missed out on signing outfielder Carl Crawford and need a quality bat to insert in their lineup.

Besides the Angels, don't count out the Rangers as a possible candidate to sign Beltre.  By not signing Cliff Lee, the Rangers have money to spend on a quality free agent, and Beltre could make their lineup even more deadly than it already is.  Another possibility could be the Giants.  Current third baseman Pablo Sandoval is bad defensively and in the long term probably would be a better fit across the diamond at first base.  Beltre would also be an offensive upgrade.  Even though the Giants are now the defending champions, their offense wasn't great last season and they haven't made any major upgrades so far this offseason.

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