Yesterday it was said that five teams were on Carlos Beltan’s short list. Four were named. Which means … Mystery Team.
Sadly, Buster Olney put his Jessica Fletcher pearls on and solved that mystery: the Cleveland Indians. Ken Rosenthal confirms and argues that Beltran may be a good fit in Cleveland.
Not sure I’m buying it. The Indians don’t have a ton of room — at least on paper — in the outfield with Choo, Sizemore and Brantley, who while not as good as Beltran, obviously, is someone the Indians believe in. Travis Hafner is the DH. You can guess that both Hafner and Sizemore will miss copious amounts of playing time with injuries, but if you’re Beltran, why do you go someplace where there is even the possibility that your presence is gonna upset some current players?
A bigger issue is the money. Rosenthal argues that, while Beltran is pricey for the Indians, the team could work him into the budget. He’s right, I think, but it seems tight. If there really are five teams bidding, it wouldn’t be hard to see the $10-12 million Beltan apparently wants to creep up a bit. And every notch higher is a little larger for the Indians than it is for, say, the Red Sox or the Cardinals.
Anything can happen. We’re told Beltran will sign this week. So I guess we just watch.
Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor reached an agreement with the Rangers on a six-year, $49.5 million contract extension. It was announced on Saturday and finalized on Thursday. The contract is pretty typical — a signing bonus, escalating salaries each year — except for one thing: Odor received two elite horses as well, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Here are those horses, per Jared Sandler of 1053 The Fan:
Players do sometimes get perks as part of their contracts. Usually it’s mundane stuff like extra game tickets for family and friends, use of a suite, limo rides, or plane tickets. Sometimes they can get rather specific. For example, in 2005, Troy Glaus got $250,000 per year in “personal business expenses” from the Diamondbacks, which was for his wife’s equestrian training. Hall of Famer George Brett got a 10 percent stake in an apartment complex in Memphis when he signed an extension with the Royals in the mid-1980’s. But as far as my research was able to go, no one received any horses, so that’s new.
Of course, the Rangers certainly think Odor is worth the perks. Last season, Odor hit .271/.296/.502 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 632 plate appearances. And at just 23 years old, he has plenty of room to improve.
The Mariners have signed reliever Mark Lowe, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. The Tigers released him on Sunday.
Lowe, 33, is entering the last of a two-year, $11 million deal signed with the Tigers in December 2015. The right-hander struggled to a 7.11 ERA with a 49/21 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings last season. His performance this spring didn’t do much to inspire confidence.
Lowe began his major league career with the Mariners, breaking out in 2009 with a 3.26 ERA across 80 innings. He has been inconsistent throughout most of his 11-year big league career, however.