Ken Rosenthal (and others) have reported this morning that Adrian Beltre’s 2011 option could double from $5 million to $10 million based on incentives. What incentives? Rosenthal just tweeted that he gets the extra $5 million if he makes 640 plate appearances.
For what it’s worth, Beltre has made 640 plate appearances thrice in his career: 2004-2006, which were his age 25-27 seasons. He fell one plate appearance short in 2007. He had 612 and 477 in the past two years.
Is the incentive attainable? Absolutely, though if the Red Sox can’t unload Mike Lowell for some reason, one wonders if they’ll keep him on the roster somehow, taking plate appearances away from Beltre. That’s probably unlikely.
Whether it’s more unlikely than a 31 year-old player coming off an injury returning to the health and durability he enjoyed in his prime is an open question.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.