UPDATE: T.R. Sullivan fills in the details of the Adrian Beltre-Rangers deal:
The Rangers still have work to do before they finalize an agreement with free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. But the deal is far enough along, according to sources, that it would be worth $96 million over six years.
It would also include a clause that would allow the Rangers to void the sixth year if Beltre doesn’t reach a certain amount of plate appearances.
Let’s just call it a reverse-vest then, shall we? And let us all agree to meet in this comments thread in 2015 to discuss the ethics of benching a healthy-but-unproductive guy in the interests of triggering a voiding clause.
11:39 AM: Jon Heyman and Tim Brown are each reporting that the Rangers and Adrian Beltre are close to a deal. Heyman has the details, naturally: six years and between $90 and $100 million. Brown says the deal could be finalized today.
Heyman also makes an apt observation when he notes that the Angels appear to be in hibernation. What happened to them? Were they lying when they said they were going to be aggressive this offseason, or did they simply so totally misread the market that they’ve been paralyzed into inaction.
All I know is that the Athletics and the Rangers have each gotten better this winter while they’ve done nothing. From a distance, it appears that they are utterly abdicating the AL West chase.
The Red Sox have more or less withdrawn from the Edwin Encarnacion sweepstakes, with Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald noting that much of their reluctance hinges on the likelihood that they’d exceed the new $195 million luxury tax threshold by locking the DH into a lucrative deal. That doesn’t leave them without options, however, and FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that the club could be interested in 29-year-old corner infielder Pedro Alvarez, as well as fellow free agents Mike Napoli and Matt Holliday.
After playing just 10 games at DH from 2010 to 2015, Alvarez suited up as the Orioles’ primary designated hitter and part-time third baseman in 2016. His defense is sub-par, to say the least, but he batted .249/.322/.504 with 22 home runs for Baltimore in 2016.
According to Heyman, the Red Sox envision using Alvarez in much the same way the Orioles did. He’d have a place as the team’s DH with the occasional infield start, while Hanley Ramirez would keep his post at first base. Whether the Red Sox make offers to Napoli, Holliday or Alvarez, they’re expected to pursue a short-term deal in order to stay under budget.
The Braves signed left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren to a one-year deal, according to a team announcement on Sunday.
Lindgren, the Yankees’ top draft pick in 2014, was nicknamed “The Strikeout Factory” after blowing through four levels of New York’s farm system in 2014. He started the 2015 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and was called up for his major league debut only two months into the 2015 season. The 22-year-old lasted seven innings with the club before succumbing to bone chips in his elbow, and underwent bone spur surgery in June before trying his luck again during spring training in 2016.
In August, the Yankees shut Lindgren down for the remainder of the season so the lefty could undergo Tommy John surgery. With a projected return date of 2018, Lindgren was non-tendered by the Yankees on Friday.
While the Braves won’t get the benefit of Lindgren’s top prospect skill set in their bullpen anytime soon, he will remain under club control if they keep him on their 40-man roster beyond the 2017 season (per ESPN’s Keith Law).