It’s probably rather galling to the rest of baseball that, in addition to being able to outbid just about everyone for any free agent, the Red Sox also get big discounts on guys who simply want to go there. That seems to be the case with Adrian Beltre:
Beltre turned down more money from at least two teams – he had a
four-year offer early in free agency and then a three-year deal for
roughly the same annual value as the deal the Red Sox offered – but he
chose Boston with an eye on having a big year for a contender and then
hitting the market again next year.
Take all of this with the usual grain of Boras salt, of course. Yes, it’s possible that Beltre had other more lucrative offers but took Boston’s because he wanted to win and wanted to make a splash on the big stage and re-enter free agency next year.
It’s also possible, however, there weren’t any other fabulous offers — at least not concrete ones — and this is spin created by Boras to camouflage the fact that he misread the market for his client and ended up having to come way, way down in money and years simply to find a job.
In other words, one man’s “opt-out” opportunity is another man’s “make good” deal. And unless we ever get confirmation of the other offers, we really don’t have any way of knowing which it truly was.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.