UPDATE: Beltre’s deal with the Rangers: six-years, $96 million

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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 AMJon 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.

Marlins option Tom Koehler to Triple-A, recall Hunter Cervenka

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Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.

Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.

Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.

Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are interested in Pat Neshek

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At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.

Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.