Adrian Beltre

UPDATE: The Adrian Beltre/Rangers seesaw continues


UPDATE:  First Adrian Beltre and the Rangers had a deal. Then they didn’t. Then a deal was imminent. Now it’s not again:

Club officials are not particularly optimistic that something will get down with third baseman Adrian Beltre. That deal seems unlikely give the tenor of feeling on Monday but things could change.

The weird thing about this is that neither side of these conflicting reports is openly refuting the other.  Usually we see “So-and-so said a deal was close, but a team source says that’s not the case.”  Not on this. Here it’s like we have two alternate realities existing in which Adrian Beltre is close to signing and not at all close to signing and they are totally unaware of the other.

Maybe we’re in a Star Trek: TNG episode. They used to encounter that kind of thing all the time.  If only we can somehow communicate with our alternate selves, we could solve this crisis!  I suggest doing something with a tachyon field. Or perhaps reconfiguring the deflector dish.  If we need more power, we can just divert some from the main shields. Yes, I know that leaves us vulnerable in the event of an attack, but how likely is that to occur? We’re on a research mission for crying out loud!

11:05 AMEnrique Rojas of ESPN reports that “an agreement appears imminent,” between Adrian Beltre and the Rangers.

We are in grain of salt territory here however. Why? because yesterday there were reports that a deal was done, but those were walked back by U.S. writers, presumably with Rangers sources, who say that there are conversations but nothing close to being done. Rojas’ new report cites those reports from the Dominican Republic yesterday, but it is bylined from ten minutes ago.  Is he reporting something new pointing to an imminent deal, or did an ESPN editor jump the gun or misread Rojas’ latest dispatch as the latest news when he was really reporting on yesterday’s now discredited reports?  And if it is the latter, why no acknowledgments of the debunkings from earlier today? Hurm.

Rojas is good, though. If there’s a deal in place, it would not shock me in the least if he had it first.  It seems like player-sourced news tends to beat team-sourced news with this sort of thing anyway.

The Tigers will listen to trade offers on anybody

Miguel Cabrera
Getty Images

Earlier this week Tigers GM Al Avila said that his club was going to get “lean” and “efficient” and that their days of spending big money are over. Later in the week Avila said that they would not likely offer a long term contract to outfielder J.D. Martinez, who will become a free agent after the 2017 season.

None of those comments necessarily suggested that the Tigers would be conducting a fire sale or anything, and it’s certainly possible to get leaner while still competing. One would assume that the Tigers could cut fat in the middle but still head into battle with their superstars. But that may not be the plan. Buster Olney:

. . . the message being received from the rest of the industry is a dramatic shift for one of baseball’s oldest franchises: They will listen to trade offers on everybody.

Miguel Cabrera. Justin Verlander. Ian Kinsler.


Trading those guys would be a pretty big deal. In both senses of the term.

It would take a blockbuster-sized deal to move such players. Verlander is owed $28 million a year for the next three seasons and has a vesting option for 2020 at $22 million. Cabrera just finished the first year of an eight-year, $248 million deal that will be paying him more than $30 million a year between 2018 and 2023, with an $8 million buyout for 2024. And that’s before the fact that both Verlander and Cabrera are 10/5 guys with full no-trade protection if they choose to exercise it. Beyond that Kinsler is a relative bargain at $11 million in 2017 and a $10 million club option for 2018 with a $5 million buyout. Victor Martinez and Justin Upton are hanging around too.

But for as big a trade would have to be if any one of those guys were dealt, it’d be a bigger deal in terms of team philosophy and direction. Cabrera has confirmed his Hall of Fame credentials in his nine years in Detroit. He’s the best player to wear the English D since Al Kaline and has been the biggest star in the organization for most of a generation. Verlander is nearly as important and nearly as famous. I don’t think it’s likely the Tigers will move either of them because the logistics of such deals would be mind-boggling, but even entertaining deals for these guys would alter the course of the franchise for years and years to come. It happens to every franchise eventually, but I don’t think the Tigers fan base is prepared for it to happen to them yet.

Still: the free agent market is thinner that it has been at any time in years and years. Cabrera and Verlander, if they could be had, would be the biggest splashes any team looking to improve could possibly acquire. Kinselr would be a big get for anyone as well. Al Avila knows that. Even if he’s not ready to part with his superstars, he probably owes it to his organization to at least listen.


The World Series broadcast schedule is announced

Getty Images

Major League Baseball just announced the broadcast schedule for both Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) of the NLCS and the entire World Series.

There are no surprises here. The World Series games are all on Fox. The pregame show starts at 7:30 and the games themselves start just after 8pm Eastern Daylight Time, regardless of whether it’s Chicago or Los Angeles representing the National League. For some reason Game five of the World Series, scheduled a week from Sunday if it comes to pass, starts seven minutes later than all of the other games. Maybe something super exciting will happen then.