Adrian Beltre officially becomes a free agent by declining $10 million player option

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As expected, Adrian Beltre has declined his $10 million player option for 2011 and will hit the open market following a monster year that saw him bat .321 with 28 homers and a league-leading 49 doubles for the Red Sox.

After an injury wrecked, career-worst campaign for the Mariners last season Beltre turned down some multi-year offers to take a one-year, $9 million deal from the Red Sox in the hopes of increasing his value and taking another crack at free agency.

He succeeded in a big way, and while the deal also included a player option that increased from $5 million to $10 million based on playing time Beltre was so good this season that he’ll have no trouble getting several times that much in guaranteed money on the open market.

Beltre recently put his California home on the market for $19.8 million, perhaps suggesting that he’s thinking about relocating to the East Coast full time, but the Red Sox will have tons of competition for his services following an MVP-caliber year at age 31.

Indians sign Melvin Upton Jr. to a minor league deal

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The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr.

Upton, 33, battled a torn thumb ligament and a shoulder issue last season, limiting him to only 12 games with Triple-A Sacramento, the Giants’ affiliate. In those 12 games, he hit .244 with one double and one home run. Upton last played in the majors in 2016 with the Padres and Blue Jays with which he posted an aggregate .693 OPS.

Given the injuries suffered by Indians outfielders in the past couple of seasons it can’t hurt to have some options for organizational depth. If he has anything left in the tank, stash him on the bench or down in Columbus. If not, no harm done.