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 Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.