UPDATE: According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports the MLBPA considers Beltre's contract to be worth $80 million over five years, as noted yesterday by Buster Olney (see update below). In addition, Rosenthal has the year by year breakdown of Beltre's salary. In 2011, he will receive $14 million. In 2012, the figure increases to $15 million. The $1 million annual increments continue until 2015, when Beltre's salary reaches $18 million. The voidable sixth year is worth $16 million.
UPDATE: According to ESPN's Buster Olney, Beltre's deal is actually five years and $80 million with a vesting option for the sixth season at $16 million. The story below has been edited to reflect the updated information.
Missing out on Cliff Lee hurt. But the next day, the Rangers went back to work. Finally, they got their man. MLBlogger T.R. Sullivan reported that Adrian Beltre touched down in Dallas last night to finalize a five year, $80 million contract that includes a vesting option for a sixth season.
The Rangers can decline the option year of the deal unless Beltre meets playing time threshholds in 2014 and/or 2015. The deal also includes a limited no-trade clause, which is likely intended as leverage to force the acquiring club to guarantee the option for the sixth year in the event that the Rangers seek to move Beltre during the life of the deal.
Beltre spent one season in Boston, and crushed the ball. He batted .321/.365/.553 in 641 plate appearances with 28 home runs and leading the American League with 49 doubles. It was Beltre's best season at the plate since his age 25 season with the Dodgers when he finished second in the NL MVP voting. For his career, which has spanned 13 seasons already, Beltre averaged .275/.328/.462 while playing sparkling defense at third base.
Rebuilding his value was a key to his time in Boston. After five seasons in Seattle, playing in the cavernous Safeco Field, Beltre was perceived as a fading hitter, who could still flash the leather. Moving to another park that favors hitters should help hide whatever regrerssion Beltre shows in 2011.
The deal muddles the Rangers infield situation, moving incumbent Michael Young off of third base. Young shifted to third in 2009 to make room for Elvis Andrus. Beltre and Andrus give Texas unmatched fielders on the left side of the infield. Young likely becomes the Rangers designated hitter, though it is assumed he could spell Beltre at third as well as Andrus at short and Ian Kinsler at second.
Click here to see the Rangers Press Release
Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has agreed to terms with third baseman Adrian Beltre on a six-year contract through 2016. Financial terms were not disclosed, per club policy. A roster move to accommodate Beltre on the club’s 40-man roster will be made when the contract becomes official.
Beltre, 31, spent last season with the Boston Red Sox, batting .321 with 28 home runs, 49 doubles, and 102 RBI in 154 games. He was named an All-Star for the first time in his career, as his 28 home runs led all American League third basemen. Beltre’s career-high 49 doubles led the major leagues and 79 extra-base hits ranked third in the A.L., as he also posted his second-highest single-season totals in hits (189), home runs, and RBI. His 49 doubles are the fifth-highest total by a right-handed batter in Red Sox history (1901-2010). He ranked fifth in the A.L. with a .919 OPS figure and was voted the Red Sox 2010 MVP by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). He placed ninth in the A.L. MVP voting after last season.
Beltre won the Gold Glove Award at third base with Seattle in both 2007 and 2008, and was named a Silver Slugger in 2004 and 2010. Last season, he led all major league third basemen with 138 putouts, ranking second among A.L. players at the position in total chances (442), total chances per 9 innings (2.96), assists (285), and double plays (31). Among active third basemen with at least 650 games at the position, Beltre ranks second in putouts per 9 innings (0.84) and fourth in total chances per 9 innings (2.96).
He finished second to Barry Bonds in the 2004 BBWAA National League Most Valuable Player voting, when he posted career highs with a .334 average, 48 home runs, 121 RBI, 200 hits, and 104 runs scored for Los Angeles. That year, he became just the 11th player in major league history with at least 45 home runs and 200 hits in a single season. He is the most recent big league player to have those figures in a season, and one of only four in National League history.
The Dominican Republic native have batted .275 with 278 home runs and 1008 RBI over 1835 major league games with Los Angeles-NL (1998-2004), Seattle (2005-09), and Boston (2010). He played all 4 games in the Dodgers’ 2004 Division Series loss to St. Louis, going 4-for-15 with an RBI and run scored in his only postseason action to date. He made his big league debut in 1998 at the age of 19.
Beltre has batted .306 (67-219) with 9 home runs, 18 doubles, 34 RBI, and an .857 on-base-plus-slugging (OPS) figure in 51 career games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The .306 average and .857 OPS are his second-highest marks in any active American League park (.373/1.004 at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium). Beltre hit for the cycle with the Mariners on Sept. 1, 2008 at Rangers Ballpark and also hit his first career home run in Arlington on June 30, 1998 with the Dodgers.
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