Beltre’s Market Value

This winter, we’re going to see a few guys become very, very rich. Cliff Lee is going to become one of the highest paid pitchers in the game; Carl Crawford will likely join the $100 million contract club, while Jayson Werth and Adam Dunn will get paid for their power. But, to me, the most interesting free agent of all is Adrian Beltre.

He’s going to be a fascinating case. He’s essentially a lock to opt-out of the player option he has for 2011 and go back on the market, given how well he has played for the Red Sox this year. Two more home runs last night pushed him up to the +5.0 WAR level for the season, and he’s legitimately in the discussion for American League MVP.

And, while the offense has been better than anyone expected, Beltre’s been one of the game’s best third baseman for quite some time. He’s now accumulated +48.6 WAR in 7,300 career plate appearances, or an average of +4 wins per season. We’re looking at over a decade of excellence, but it comes with inconsistencies.

Outside of 2004 and 2010, Beltre’s bat has been more average than exceptional. He has now had two monstrous offensive seasons, but those are the exception rather than the rule. Whoever signs Beltre will have to expect something closer to a .350 wOBA rather than the .403 he’s at currently. Of course, he also brings excellent defense to the table, and he’s one of the most durable players around, so you get value beyond simply what he does at the plate.

So, what’s fair market value for a 32-year-old with a true talent level of about a +4 win player? In this market, where a lot of teams are still scared to add long term payroll, probably something like 3 years, $45 million. But, with so many other quality player on the market this winter and limited teams with spending power, I have a feeling he’ll get less than that – maybe something like 3/36 instead.

I’m curious, though – what would YOU pay Adrian Beltre this winter? Do you see this as just another fluke year, and he’ll regress back to something closer to what he was in Seattle, or have you seen enough to believe that he’s a different player outside of Safeco Field?




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


105 Responses to “Beltre’s Market Value”

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  1. JLProck says:

    After watching Adrian in Safeco over the years, I’m more prone to believe him to be a different player inside a hitter’s park. 3/45 sounds realistic.

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  2. Mowses says:

    3/36 seems like a fair deal. But I wouldn’t hold my breath for a repeat in 2011 especially if he’s not playing his home games at Fenway, which seems to boost his offensive value as a pull hitter.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      Beltre at home in 2010: .325/.362/.523, good for a 136 wRC+
      Beltre on the road in 2010: .347/.386/.612, 165 wRC+

      His BABIP is nearly identical at home and on the road, so it’s not like he’s getting particularly hit-lucky, and his ISO is significantly higher away from Fenway. Just sayin’.

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      • Steve says:

        Exactly. Beltre has been a better road hitter and likely stronger at 3b as well (away from Fenway).
        He’s highly motivated. Will he continue to bust his ass if he gets a mega deal? And although he’s built like an NFL strong saftey I’d be a bit concerned about anybody who came to prominence in the PED era.

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    • Greg says:

      actually most his power (especially early) has been to right center home & away

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      • pft says:

        That used to be the case with Beltre, but this year 15 of his 19 HR are L or L-C. Maybe he has changed his approach at Fenway, but he has more HR on the road (10 on the road, 9 at Fenway)

        Also, his HR’s tend to be bombs, out anywhere. He may have lost a few at Fenway due to the wall. His average HR distance is slightly higher than David Ortiz (401 to 400).

        Doesn’t have to be PED’s. I remember Yaz going from 20 HR to 44 HR after an offseason working out with a strength and conditioning coach back in 1967.

        If I am the Red Sox, I offer 15 million for 1 year with a player option for 5 million that triples if he reaches 600 PA. Keep him playing for contracts. But some fool team will offer him 3 years and spend the next 3 years wondering what happened to his power.

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  3. Lenmb says:

    I think he loves playing for a contender and that he loves the attention in Beantown. 3/45 sounds about right, but he has to sign to a contending big market team. I think the Red Sox are just his best opion.

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    • alskor says:

      Agreed. Plus, the Sox have no alternatives at 3B and losing Beltre would mean a gaping hole. There is nothing else at 3B in free agency.

      Not only that, but Beltre is already very close with many guys on the team and has even become something of a vocal leader on this team. Plus, much like with JD Drew, it has come out that the Sox tried to acquire Beltre a number of times over the years. He’s a front office favorite, and they work well with Boras.

      Fantastic player and fantastic fit. I would be ecstatic if they got him for 3@12. I’d easily go higher if I had to. I’d be very optimistic about how his skillset ages.

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  4. Tim says:

    Looks like a good replacement for Chipper Jones for Atlanta.

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    • KG says:

      That’s interesting – I don’t know if they have the budget, but they could definitely use Beltre both offensively and defensively.

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      • Anon21 says:

        If they could move one or two of their biggest millstones (McLouth, Kawakami, and Lowe) either now or over the offseason, I could certainly see them springing for 3/36 for Beltre. If a bidding war start, I would expect Wren to back off, though. They are still smarting from the Lowe signing, which was a hysterical overreaction to the possibility that Lowe could go to the Mets. If only…

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      • Temo says:

        If Chipper retires, he takes $15M with him off the payroll. It makes perfect sense to me. IF you can sign him to a 3-4 year deal.

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      • Mr. Sanchez says:

        Chipper is slotted for I think $13m next year, and Beltre seems worth that defensively with even a step back offensively from his current #s in Boston. But then, not knowing if the Red Sox have a ready replacement on board already (and I don’t think they want Youklis as an everyday 3B), I can’t see him going elsewhere.

        But the Braves should have money to spend. Chipper retires, Wagner retires, opening up about $20m between them. If any other salary (notably a starting P) can be moved, that frees up a little more money to spend. They don’t need to sign a replacement for Wagner with so many relievers within, so that just leaves a big need in the OF and 3B (perhaps 1B depending on if they want to hand the job over to Freeman). $20m can probably add a solid LF and 3B, meaning Beltre could certainly fit within the budget.

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      • Nevin says:

        Braves are on the hook with Chipper for 2011 and 2012 for $13 mil apiece, and a $7 mil option for 2013 that vests automatically for $9 mil instead if Larry Wayne plays in 123 games in 2012 or avgs 127 games in 2011 and 2012.
        2013 option price increases by $1M each for:
        128, 133, 138, 140 games in 2012, or
        averages of 132, 137, 138, 140 games in 2011-12

        If LWJ Jr hangs ‘um up after this year, Beltre would be amazing replacement, and they should have the money (especially if they can get out from under the $6+ mil owed to either McLouth or Kawakami, or Heaven forfend the $15 x 2 owed to Derek Lowe.

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      • Anon21 says:

        Lowe is definitely a negative-value asset, and with the cash the Braves would have to send along I doubt it’s worth shipping him out. No one will touch McLouth with a ten-foot pole unless he suddenly turns it around; right now, he’s a sub-replacement level player earning major league money.

        KK, on the other hand, really should be movable. His contract isn’t great, but he’s a league average starter, and if the Braves pick up some of his money (might as well, since they’ve literally used him one time since sending him to the bullpen), they ought to be able to get the majority of his salary off the books.

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      • Nevin says:

        Agree. Just pointing out possible positive payroll sources that could allow the Braves to pick up Beltre at something near market cost without really changing their current budget.

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      • AJ says:

        With the Braves depth in their starting rotation (a lot of big league talent that could be ready by next year), they might get good value by moving Lowe to the ‘pen. He was a lights out closer for a period of time with the BoSox (’99 and ’00). The way teams were going after lights out relievers at the deadline leads me to think the Braves might be able to at least ditch salary if Lowe could approach that again.

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  5. James says:

    I think a winning team with good management might sign him to 1-2 years guaranteed, with some club options and/or incentives, just like the Red Sox did this year. I doubt he’ll go for it again. A more poorly run team or a team that doesn’t care about payroll will probably give him the kind of years/money he wants. My guess is that where he’ll end up (I believe he is a Boras client).

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence he’s having a monster year in what is essentially a walk year. The WAR numbers are skewed by that dubious 10 WAR 2004. I would be very leery about signing him… I look forward to finding out which team overpays for him.

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  6. Z2 says:

    While he’s a different player away from Safeco, 2010 is still a fluke, just like his walk year in LA was a fluke. If someone pays him for his 2010 offense they’ll be sorry.

    The 3years 12-14m range seems fair, but Boras is his agent so you never know.

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  7. Chu Dog says:

    If he finishes in the top 5 in AL MVP voting, I can assure you he will laugh at a 3 year deal. Upwards to minimum 4 years 60 mil in a market where he’s out performed most at his position in 2010 (his numbers vs wright are an interesting comparison.). I’m not so sure about Atlanta, check out their farm…

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    • Anon21 says:

      Who do you see as Chipper’s replacement who’s currently in the minor league system?

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      • Kevin S. says:

        Guys that could be used to acquire a less cost-prohibitive third baseman. Or they could take Alex Gordon off of GMDM’s hands.

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    • Jay says:

      The Braves don’t have anyone even relatively close at 3B…

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      • Eric M. Van says:

        Isn’t Prado a much better defensive 3B than 2B? (Career UZR 8.2 vs. -7.9, although he’s -3.3, -1.2 the last two years.)

        There’s a pretty good argument for moving him there and getting a 2B instead.

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      • Mr. Sanchez says:

        Eric M.

        Problem with that thinking is sabre wise his bat isn’t as valuable at 3B as it is at 2B. I’m not much for that, thinking more of a team as a whole than if player X produces enough for position Y, but the real problem with Prado at 2B is then who replacs him there? Maybe Uggla, but him at 2B would be a defensive downgrade and between the two probably a better option for 3rd than Prado. Maybe Infante, but he’s not much in power and the value of having him able to replace an injury across the diamond goes away.

        The FA market doesn’t provide a lot of answers at either 2B or 3B (or SS) from the looks of things, with Beltre far and away the best option at any of the non-1B IF spots.

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      • Eric M. Van says:

        The loss of value per 150 games moving from 2B to 3B is only about 3.5 runs, though. Easy to make that up on defense, and all the evidence says Prado would.

        I admit that finding a good 2B would be tougher than simply going after Beltre, though. Don’t the Diamondbacks have a guy they’re looking to move? :)

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      • Kevin S. says:

        Actually, don’t Tango’s positional adjustments equate 2B and 3B?

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  8. William says:

    if i was boston, i would cash out on beltres year and get a first round pick from the team that signs him, then try to trade for prince fielder, invest heavily in the bullpen, extend ortiz with a 3 year 19 million dollar deal, resign varitek to a one year deal and have him sort of platoon with salty, then make a run at the world series. One question i have is what millawkie would command. i think stolemy pitmel and michael bowden for prince fielder and some cash would be a fair deal, considering its a one year rental

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    • Steve says:

      JMO, but if Boston declines Ortiz’s $12M option, he won’t resign there for $19M/3

      Also, it’s odd to see the phrases “platoon Varitek with Salty” and “make a run for the World Series” in the same sentence. It implies that catching tandem would be anything other than dreadful.

      Also, are you suggesting the Brewers would send cash along with Prince Fielder?? That they would be so excited to have Boston’s 2 mediocre prospects, they would kick in money to make that happen?

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      • joser says:

        As a general rule nothing worthwhile comes out of responding thoughtfully to the rosterbators. As the old joke goes, it just frustrates you and annoys the pig.

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      • Piccamo says:

        Typical Red Sox hater undervaluing the massive talent that is Red Sox nation. If you don’t see that Salty is Maur 2.0, but with better intangibles and that Varitek is practically a player coach with a great personality, I don’t think I can help you. Pitmel and Bowden are more than enough value for Fielder (I might ask for another piece coming back from Milwaukee). Fielder will perform better with the Red Sox (thanks to a far superior coaching staff) than he has with the Brewers, but Melvin can’t charge based on future performance. Red Sox for WS 2011. Book it. Done.

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      • James says:

        “Salty is Maur (sic) 2.0″ – WTF? Mauer has batting titles and gold gloves. Salty’s got a long way to go.

        I think getting Fielder anytime soon (i.e., before the 2011 season) is optimistic. I anticipate Milwaukee holding onto him, seeing how they play in 2011, and either get a major haul during the 2011 season or get the type A compensation afterwards. No way he accepts arbitration (unless he loses appendages or something).

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      • Daern says:

        James–welcome to the internet. Have a seat. I need to explain a few things to you, seeing as you’re knew. You just got, as we say, trolled. And you rose to the bait. If you think Piccamo is serious, perhaps your typewriter is a safer place for you.

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      • Steve says:

        James, pretty sure the Salty comment was tongue in cheek.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      Also, why would you re-sign Ortiz and block up the DH slot when Fielder would be coming over to fill that same spot. Youkilis ain’t going back to third, folks.

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    • William says:

      Who is this guy stealing my name?
      Also, none of that would happen, aside from potentially letting Beltre go and getting a first round pick.

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  9. Kyle says:

    It would be interesting to see Detroit go after a guy like this, considering Inge’s contract is ending. They have quite a bit of money coming off the books. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them offer up some money to Beltre, but I definitely wouldn’t place a bet that they will do it.

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    • Steve says:

      I think Detroit is a good call. They have no problems working with Boras, they have a need, and they should have the money.

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  10. Chair says:

    Boras is going to spin his 2010 into a 4 year deal that with incentives can reach over 50 mill. I am pulling hard for the Dodgers to sign him, especially now that Dewitt is gone.

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  11. tdotsports1 says:

    Beltre – making Fangraphs proud one day at a time!!

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  12. Steve C says:

    Looking at HitTracker he only has 2 no doubt home runs on the season. The spray pattern on the season is also unsettling for most teams.

    http://hittrackeronline.com/detail.php?id=2010_728&type=hitter

    He will most certainly regress towards league average quite heavily if put in the average ball park. The 358 BABIP is more than 60 points above his career norm.

    I really think Beltre could be worth a lot more to teams like Texas and Boston due to how the park plays to his hitting style.

    3/45 would be very generous given that most of his value is tied up in defense which is still undervalued. I could see something like 3/30-36 with some type of vesting option for a fourth year.

    A lot of teams will also be wary of Beltre simply performing in a contract year and will not want to be burned like Seattle was.

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    • Eric M. Van says:

      His 358 BABIP is 339 at league-average BABIP for batted ball types. He’s been a little lucky (1 GB hit, 1 FB hit, 4 LD) but he’s mostly hit the over-loving snot out of the ball.

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    • Eric M. Van says:

      Oh, and HitTracker No Doubt / Just Enough etc. classifications have nothing to do with how well a ball is hit, they just record the relationship of the ball to the local wall. One of his No Doubts is a HR in 5 parks under average weather conditions, at least one of his Just Enoughs is a HR in all 30 parks. The rightmost column is one the one you want to look at to see if a player had gotten a lot of cheap, lucky HRs.

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    • Rust says:

      ‘burned like Seattle’? Come on. Beltre put up 16.7 WAR with the Mariners, and was paid $64 million. So he was slightly overpaid, but it’s not like he stole money from the Mariners.

      Also, you’re reading the Hittracker numbers wrong. ‘No doubt’ isn’t the indicator for the homerun clearing the wall in all 30 parks, or without luck. It’s just a measure of how much it cleared the fence by (20 feet vertically, 50 feet horizontally). Hittracker says:

      “The league averages for 2006 were 27% JE, 55% PL and 18% ND. Hitters who amassed a significantly larger than average percentage of JE homers may have benefitted from good fortune, and thus may be ripe for a regression towards the league average this season. Hitters who tallied significantly fewer JE homers than the league average may have suffered from bad luck, and thus might be expected to do better in 2007.”

      Beltre has 17 HRs, 2 NDs, 6 JEs, 9 PLs. A player hitting the 17 HRs with the league average profile would have 4.5 JEs, 3 NDs, 9.35 PLs.

      I think Boston welcomes other teams being wary of Beltre’s ‘contract year’ and they would absolutely re-sign him if it only took 3 years at $13-$15 million AAV.

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    • Dave says:

      Steve,
      I think you’re missing something about the dimensions of ballparks. The vast majority of those homeruns would be out of most parks in the majors. For example, not counting the ones that touch the line, there are 7 balls that were hit over 400 feet, none to dead center. All of them would have been out of almost any park in baseball (the two closest to dead center might not have made it out of the triangle in Fenway and who knows how many of his pulled road homers might have hit the monster in a home game). The point is, like last night’s 3-run shot that went over the billboard on top of the monster seats, the guy isn’t hitting a lot of cheap shots.

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  13. worth it says:

    Adrian Beltre was actually worth his contract in Seattle. (if the fielding metrics are correct) Thus, I wouldn’t say that he “burned” Seattle. I think he will go for 4 years and 52 million.

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    • joser says:

      There were some who rather naively expected Beltre to continue his 2004 offensive performance in Safeco, but the vast majority of thoughtful observers in Seattle (as measured by comments on the leading blogs, anyway) didn’t feel at all “burned” by Beltre. Awesome defense is awesome, even if the chicks who dig the long ball don’t notice.

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  14. Ken macha says:

    One million dollars

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  15. Mike B. says:

    Safeco hurt Beltre just as it has numerous other RHBs. This season may be a bit of a fluke from the offensive end, but his defense is never fluky.

    He’ll sign with the Tigers. 3/~40.

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  16. Mike says:

    Beltre is in one way a lot like JD Drew-He’s got one glaring negative quality that seems to completely skew how people view him. With Drew, it’s health. With Beltre, it’s that he’s put together two monster years prior to becoming a free agent only to be a slightly above average offensive 3b every other year.

    However, despite these negatives- both players have been insanely valuable for some time. Yeah, chances are Beltre is a guy who only posts a slugging heavy .820 OPS from here on out, but that coupled with his defense makes him worth a boat load of money.

    Not too long ago, a slightly inferior Mike Lowell got a 30 + million dollars following a career year. It’s a different economy, but I still think Beltre beats that make by quite a bit.

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  17. joser says:

    With Beltre you know his defense gives you some kind of floor on value regardless of whether he’s up or down at the plate. But having a home park that doesn’t get in his head by punishing RH pull hitters would appear to be a significant factor in maximizing his value.

    What’s the market for 3B this winter? I haven’t seen an updated free agent list recently (after this crazy july of moves and extensions), but off the top of my head I believe Inge, Wigginton, Maicer Izturis, and Punto are going to be available? The most interesting alternative name for potential Beltre-hunters though, at least wrt breaking out in a walk year, is probably Jose Bautista. (Sure, he’s not the defensive 3B Beltre is but for some teams the flexibility to move him around to the OF or 1B might be almost as valuable). The intriguing question for me: which of those two are going to come closer to replicating his 2010 offensive performance over the course of his next contracts?

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  18. JMHawkins says:

    I’d offer 3/$45 with a 4th year player’s option that vests based on PAs over years 2 and 3, just to guard against Rapid Aging syndrome. Don’t know if Boras would take it, but I think that would be failr value for him.

    Q on the in-season WAR values Fangraphs shows – are actual accrued WAR, as opposed to projected for the full season? Meaning Betlre at +5.0 right now is on pace for a +7.5 WAR 2010. Is that correct?

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    • Kevin S. says:

      Beltre has been worth 5.0 wins in ’10 to date – the only offensive player who’s been clearly better than him is Josh Hamilton. The other guys (Cano, Votto, Morneau, Crawford) are all within that 0.5ish win error bar.

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  19. Chu Dog says:

    Apologies on my brave comment… It came out wrong typing. I meant to convey that i have no knowledge on their farm 3B, and to get back to me with their depth for anyone who is knowledgeable. Beltre seems to be a solid fit in the middle of that lineup replacing chipper.

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  20. Jamie says:

    Oakland has Eric Chavez coming off the books this winter and very few guaranteed contracts. I could see them making another run at Beltre if they think they’re close to contending.

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    • Nevin says:

      Agree. Oakland and Detroit seem to be the most likely landing spots, if Boston let’s him go. Atlanta could be in the mix if Larry Wayne retires. But if I were them, I’d not want to go more than three, maybe three and an option with a decent buyout. By that time the hope is that Edward Salcedo has succeeded and is ready.

      Some of those gap HRs would be warning track in the deep alleys at Turner Field, though.

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  21. JK says:

    The Ms should go after him …keep the out machine Figgins at 2b, get rid of Lopez, sign Beltre to a 4 year 16.5mm deal.

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  22. exdodgerfan says:

    Beltre is the real thing—
    you can’t make this stuff up…

    amazingly, I believe in this season Beltre has far from realized his full potential…
    April was horrible, with WS MVP Mike Lowell looking over his shoulder

    with some slight adjustments Beltre could hit 50 HR and bat .340 easy
    his defense is most amazing

    I ask Dave Cameron–
    can you quantify the fiscal advantage we in RSN have versus other teams bidding for Beltre?
    I think he fits in well with the RS culture.

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    • Steve says:

      He probably could, but since you just used the phrase “we in RSN” and were serious about it, he probably shouldn’t.

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      • Tom says:

        As a dissident member of RSN, I’d like to know what slight adjustments would lead to 50 home runs. And I’d like to point out no one has quantified the opportunity cost of signing Beltre: you have to carry a couple of AAAA outfielders so he can run them over. He needs to be blooded before he starts really hitting.

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  23. The Bunk says:

    Really surprised Toronto hasn’t been mentioned amongst possibilities. Toronto adding that bat and defense at the hot corner would put them as legit contenders in the AL East, add in all the money coming off the books this year and the organizations promise to to hang out around 100-120 M year to year, it would make ALOT of sense.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      Wait, you think Toronto adding Beltre would have made them contenders this year? You’re aware that the Jays are 11.5 games out of a playoff spot and would have to run down one of the best two teams in baseball, right?

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      • Steve says:

        sure, but how would they look if you added Beltre’s 5 WAR to Toronto and subtracted it from Boston??

        obviously it’s not that simple (I get it, Boston wouldn’t necessarily have a replacement level 3Bman), but the basic idea isn’t crazy enough to elicit this response.

        do you consider Boston to be a “contender”?

        he didn’t say they would “make the playoffs”, just “contend”. I would call finishing 5 games behind TB/NYY a “contender”.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        I was referring to the fact that Toronto is 11.5 games behind both New York and Tampa, neither of whom would be hurt by the Jays acquiring Beltre. If the Sox sold off their best position player this season, they’d, almost by definition, be making themselves non-contenders.

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      • Steve says:

        The original poster never said anything about this year. He simply said adding Beltre could make them contenders in 2011. Which isn’t *that* crazy if we believe Beltre is truly a 5-6 WAR player and use a very loose definition of “contending”. That’s all.

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    • Kevin S. says:

      Right, that’s why I was asking to make sure that wasn’t what he was talking about.

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      • Kevin S. says:

        Grr, that was to Steve.

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      • pros says:

        Our RS would be lucky to be .500 without Beltre

        He has batted 6-7 for much of the year without protection due to injuries and he was swinging at a lot of pitches out of the zone when he could have had many walks and an astronomical OBP
        he’s moved up now
        he’s hit into about 21 DP’s and is about 2-20 with bases loaded

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  24. Giants 162-0 says:

    I wouldnt put it past Sabean to give him a 4/55 deal… that said, we land him, move the panda to first (he is a surprisingly good fielder) and huff to LF, we would have an excellent INF with that one more very solid bat in the line-up that could make us WS material… our rotation with a line-up of:

    Torres -CF
    Sanchez -2B
    Posey -C
    Huff -LF
    Beltre -3B
    Panda -1B
    uribe -SS
    shierholtz -RF
    P

    Pitching, Offense, Defense.. this team is 95 wins easy

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    • 1970cs says:

      The Giants probably have the biggest need for a big bat, and I read somewhere Beltre would prefer to play on the West coast.

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  25. William says:

    wow my comment got deleted

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  26. Starkiller says:

    Boston, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, White Sox, Florida

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  27. Rally says:

    Braves were the first team that came to mind. I could definitely see Detroit, with all the expiring contracts they have this offseason. White Sox really need a 3B and have the money to do a deal. Their park would be a nice fit for him too – I doubt he’d consider going back to Seattle, or to Oakland.

    Angels probably will not get involved after trading for Callaspo. That doesn’t make sense in itself, but if it also involves signing Crawford I’m OK with it. Blue Jays could use him. Some years they are big spenders and other years they are cost cutters. I don’t know what mode they’ll be in next year.

    Other possibilities: A Dodger return? Giants, with Pandaval going to first?

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  28. gary h says:

    2004, 2010 were not flukes. They were contract years. And how come no one is mentioning the Angels? They have the money and the need.

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  29. You must be dreaming Dave, and you know him as well as anyone up there in Seattle. Adrian’s driving a 4 year / $65 mil bus at minimum. Maybe even a 6 year $90 mil bus. He’s off the charts good this year and he gives no indication of slowing down. He’s liking a lineup with a little more protection and a ball park which is more suited to his game. That drop to the knee upswing is probably going to keep him in Fenway for a long time.

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    • Chair says:

      You must be kidding. How about the indication that he has an injury history and will be turning 32? 4 years 65 mill is laughable. 4 years 55 mill would even be a stretch. You must really not pay attention to how many long term big money deals actually turn out to be good ideas, otherwise you would realize the teams willing to risk that much money are few and far between.

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    • Chair says:

      Theo is too smart to ever consider the reckless deal you stated, though he will be able to overpay due to Boston’s resources.

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      • Hmm says:

        Lackey ?

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      • AJ says:

        I think Theo would be more likely to do 1 year at 16-18 million with a player option that vests with AB’s and certain performance indicators.

        I’d like to see Theo do less years with maybe more money to get the deal done.

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  30. dougbies says:

    How much do you think playing in Botson compared to Seattle helped his offense? His splits are fairly even, offensively favoring away parks, but have to think besides the hunger for another massive contract, playing with that giant wall has helped him in some way.

    Considering his babip is 64 points above his career norm, has the monster helped this at all, or is that really mainly aided by his higher than normal LD%?

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    • pros says:

      Beltre has been a line drive hitter at Fenway….
      I expected him to hit over the monster and play wall-ball but it hasn’t gone that way.

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  31. TF says:

    I had been thinking that Beltre would get a Jason Bay deal, something along the lines of $80M/5yrs. At $45M/3yrs he would be MUCH more attractive to the Red Sox.

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  32. ThatsRight says:

    ” ThatsRight says:
    January 5, 2010 at 3:32 pm
    Anyone who doesn’t believe Beltre is the best 3B will be convinced this year because he will actually make the highlights now that he is playing in Boston. He’s going to hit better in Boston too obviously but you’re going to hear a lot more about Adrian Beltre this year now that he’s playing for one of ESPN’s teams(Red Sox, Phillies and NYY).

    Boston fans are going to LOVE this guy. Ultimate team player , never complains , plays everyday as hard as he can everyday and does it all in the COOLEST/CRAZIEST way possible. If you don’t know what I mean just pay attention to the style he does everything with this year…. He stops his feet on purpose just to show he can throw lasers flatfooted accross the diamond , he points to the firstbase umpire HIMSELF when he checks his swing , makes the the most amazing plays on slow rollers and even does that in his own crazy way.

    My brother playsfor an NL team and said he hoped Beltre signed in the NL just so he would get a chance to watch him play a few times this year!

    Get ready for BELTREMANIA in Boston”

    Hate to say I told you so.

    People don’t understand what playing at safeco does to a hitters confidence.

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    • pft says:

      As a Red Sox fan I can say that many fans are disappointed in his defense, especially the errors, although UZR is kind to him and he does make some nice plays. I suspect there is a serious bias in official scorer in the error department at SAFECO based on the past 4 game series we had there, which may explain why he had fewer errors. Also, the field at SAFECO likely plays better.

      The SAFECO effect for hitting may be real, but Beltre has always hit better on the road. I think hitting in a weak lineup takes a big toll as well. How else to explain his road stats dwarfing what he put up with the Mariners (close to 1000 OPS on the road this year).

      Last but not least, never underestimate Beltres contract years (2004,2004,2004). This is what the Red Sox were betting on. Good call.

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      • AJ says:

        Of course, if the BoSox sign Beltre, then they might want to get some sort of insurance for the damage that he will inevitably do to the OF’ers.

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    • exdodgerfan says:

      Yes, Beltre is fun to watch…
      as for Safeco, Ichiro is the one who never let it get in his head…
      just tailored his game to the field and hit for average…
      he could be a great power hitter if he wanted

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  33. exdodgerfan says:

    To pft:
    I don’t know which “fans” you are talking about….maybe the ones who don’t know baseball

    Beltre’s defense this year is phenomenal..

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  34. Peter says:

    Beltre will regress because he uses PED’s only in his walk years.

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  35. Mike Lowell had a +5.0 WAR in his 2007 year at about the same age. I would be very cautious to sign a player to the same type of contract as Lowells just as we are getting out from under that one.

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  36. Nick Smith says:

    Beltre’s getting at least four years, more likely five or even six. He turned down 3/36 from the A’s last year so he could put up a big year and hit the market again. If a team were willing to offer him 3/36 after a 2.4 WAR season, it’d be naive to think he’s not getting a much bigger offer after playing like an MVP.

    Beltre’s agent is going to be throwing out the names Bay (4/66), Hunter (5/90), Drew (5/70), Howard (5/125), Ichiro (5/90), Holliday (7/120), Burnett (5/82.5), Verlander (5/80), and Lackey (5/82.5) as guys in Beltre’s general class who have gotten big money even after the market correction. And he’ll get his money, because it only takes one team overpay.

    A lot of people seem to be viewing this as what he “should” get in some sort of platonic ideal, or what they’d be happy for their team to sign him for, not what he’s actually likely to get. He’s going to be one of the top three free agents in a strong class and those guys get more than three years.

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  37. godfather says:

    comparing safeco to fenway is one thing, but how about the comparison of lineups beltre plays in for boston compared to what was around him in seattle? what fenway does for the oba is stupendous, even in the case of a teddy ballgame, whose power numbers were better on the road but whose percentages were otherworldly in the fens; a sports cliche says that a player is worth more on a certain club than on another; this nyy fan says the saux should welcome beltre back, particularly with ellsbury returning

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  38. Jason B says:

    Have you considered doing a little FanGraphs’ reader contest for guessing years/dollars for a specified list of free agents in the class of 2010-11? The scoring on the contract length would be straightforward enough – just the absolute value of the numbers of years missed (i.e., if you guessed Beltre would get 3 years, then you would get 1 point if he got either 2 years or 4; like golf, lowest total wins).

    On the dollars, perhaps base the scoring on the per-year average (i.e., if you guessed Beltre would get 4/48 but he gets 2/24, then you would get a ’2′ on the years part, but on the ‘dollars’ part you would be correct, since he did get the $12M per-year average that you guessed).

    I dunno…would be a neat way to get all the readers’ various prognostications into one neat package, and should be easy enough to track in Excel.

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  39. Stevo says:

    2 yr/$82M with a player option for 3rd year.

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  40. Nick Smith says:

    5/75 with a vesting option. And for the hell of it, I’ll say it’s the Red Sox who sign him, before he hits the open market.

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    • Jason B says:

      I’ll take the “under” on that in a HEARTBEAT (not the Don Johnson song). In both dollars and years. For any amount.

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      • Nick Smith says:

        To shamelessly toot my own horn, boy was I right on this one (never mind the part about where and when he’d sign). Folks are calling it 6 years with a team option to void based on PAs, but that’s the same thing as 5 years with a vesting option. The negotiations weren’t always pretty, but damn if Boras doesn’t get his guys paid in the end.

        Now about that wager Jason B…

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