The market for free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre is finally beginning to take shape.
The A’s reportedly offered Beltre a five-year, $64 million contract at the beginning of the offseason. He never even responded to the proposal and it has since been pulled off the table.
According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels have entered a bid of about five years and $70 million, and they don’t plan to go any higher.
Beltre took advantage of the smaller parks of the American League East this past year and registered a .321/.365/.553 batting line with 28 home runs and 102 RBI over 589 at-bats. He also played his usual brand of excellent defense at the hot corner and is thought to be seeking a six-year contract worth around $90 million.
As of now, it doesn’t appear that he has enough suitors to command that kind of asking price. The Rangers are trying to work out a deal with Vladimir Guerrero and are thought to be only mildly interested in Beltre. The A’s didn’t appreciate the 31-year-old’s silent treatment and are not expected to reenter negotiations. The Angels certainly aren’t going to bid against themselves.
Unless another club comes along with something better, the Halos are in the driver’s seat.
Where are those mystery teams when you need ’em?
After 18 years, 12 winning seasons, seven postseason runs and three World Championships, Dave Righetti is no longer a pitching coach for the Giants. He was removed from his post on Saturday, when the team announced a few reassignments as they shake up their coaching staff. Heading into the 2018 season, Righetti will serve as special assistant to general manager Bobby Evans, former bullpen coach Mark Gardner will step into a similar special assistant role to “assist in pitching evaluations,” and former assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will take a special assistant role in baseball operations.
According to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Righetti was the longest-tenured pitching coach in the big leagues. He helped shape the careers of notable Giants’ aces like Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain — all Cy Young contenders (and, in Lincecum’s case, a two-time winner) at various points in their careers. He was there to assist Ryan Vogelsong during his stunning mid-career comeback in San Francisco. He helped newcomers like Chris Stratton and Ty Blach flourish even as the team stumbled to the bottom of the division. He was there to take the credit when a sterling rotation clinched the Giants’ 56-year, drought-snapping championship title in 2010 — and, when things went so horribly south in 2017, he took the blame as well.
Hardly anything went right for the Giants’ pitching staff in 2017. Madison Bumgarner was shelved after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto couldn’t shake a cluster of blisters on his right hand and Mark Melancon found it difficult to justify a $62 million paycheck after pitching through an arm injury to four blown losses/saves and a 4.50 ERA. It would be a lot for any pitching coach to stay on top of, and given the team’s rapid descent from 2016 postseason contenders to last-place finishers in 2017, it’s not surprising that Evans felt the need to switch things up.
Successors have yet to be named for Righetti, Gardner or Decker, though Murray hears that the Giants could have interest in former major league pitching coach Jim Hickey. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic adds that Evans is searching for someone to “put a new voice” on the pitching staff and will likely target someone who, like Righetti, brings considerable experience to the role.