It’s been highly publicized that the Angels are close to being the clear front runners in the Adrian Beltre sweepstakes. The A’s have all but pulled out of the race, the Rangers would have to retool their roster including the trading of one of their best players in Michael Young (which I think would be a ridiculous move), and the added sixth year of the contract demands may disappear.
Even though Angel owner Arte Moreno says that his five-year, $70 million offer will not be increased, in all likelihood, it will be. I don’t think that a couple million more being tacked onto the offer will deter Moreno from his pursuit of Beltre. The teams are reportedly $15mil off from an agreement, so don’t be surprised when a deal is closed somewhere around $75-$78mil per year.
The LA Angels coverage of this story has some great numbers that will put into perspective what Beltre could add to this team. I’ve copied in part of the text… the numbers and comparisons given are jaw dropping!
The 31-year-old Beltre hit .321 with 28 home runs and 102 RBIs for the Boston Red Sox last season. He led the American League with 49 doubles and produced 326 total bases — 60 more than the Angels’ leader, Torii Hunter. Beltre also had more homers and RBIs than any of the Angels, and he played his customary brilliant defense.
The Rays’ Evan Longoria was the AL’s All-Star starter at third base, but Beltre trumped him in almost every major offensive category. Beltre earned his second AL Silver Slugger Award to go with his two Rawlings Gold Gloves. He was ninth in the AL Most Valuable Player balloting.
Beltre finished fourth in the batting race with his .321 clip and was fifth in slugging percentage at .553. His offense was not a product of Fenway Park’s inviting dimensions. Fifteen of his 28 homers came on the road, where Beltre has 26 more career homers than in his home parks of Dodger Stadium, Safeco Field and Fenway. His .327 road average was the third highest in the AL.
While hitting with runners in scoring position — one of the Angels’ major deficiencies in 2010 — Beltre batted .338, which tied for seventh in the league.
According to the 2011 Bill James Handbook, Beltre has saved more runs (55) at third over the past three seasons than any of his positional peers. Only Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, with 60, has saved more among all position players.
Now, more than ever, is the time for the team to close the deal before it gets more complicated. The Angels need Beltre on the roster if they are to have any hope of a post-season run.