Adrian Beltre was one of three players to get elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, with the third baseman being one of two to go in on the first ballot. Joe Mauer was the other. Beltre appeared on a whopping 95.1% of the ballots, which is well-deserved for a player who is easily one of the best third basemen in MLB history.
Beltre is a player that Los Angeles Angels fans were all-too familiar with. He spent the first seven years of his career in a Dodgers uniform before playing the next five in the AL West with the Mariners as arguably the best third baseman in the sport. He spent one year in Boston where he'd put together a career year right before free agency, giving the Angels a chance to add the future Hall of Famer.
Beltre's outstanding year with Boston came in 2010, the same season which saw the Angels finish with an 80-82 record the year after making it all the way to the ALCS. With Arte Moreno desperate to get back to the postseason, he planned on pursuing Beltre (and Carl Crawford) hard in free agency. Unfortunately, he did not go hard enough, and that's something he certainly regrets to this day.
Angels fans can only wonder what could've been as Adrian Beltre gets well-deserved HOF election
The Angels reportedly offered Beltre a five-year deal worth around $70 million and Arte Moreno had no intention of going a penny higher. When the Rangers put a sixth year on the table, Beltre wound up taking an offer with Texas, spurning the Angels in the process.
Beltre wound up finishing in the top-15 in AL MVP balloting in each of the six seasons he spent from that contract with Texas, and spent eight years with the Rangers overall before hanging up the spikes after the 2018 season.
Meanwhile, while Beltre exceeded the lofty expectations that came with him to Texas, the Angels were stuck without a permanent third base solution until the team signed Anthony Rendon ahead of the 2020 season. We know how that one went.
Beltre signing on might've eliminated the chance of the Angels making the mistakes they did with Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols, and would've given them a consistent middle-of-the-order presence to pair with Mike Trout. Perhaps, the Angels would be in a very different place than they are right now.
There are many things the Angels would love to do over again if they had the chance, but offering an extra year has to be at the top of the list of things Moreno regrets.