Ken Rosenthal (and others) have reported this morning that Adrian Beltre’s 2011 option could double from $5 million to $10 million based on incentives. What incentives? Rosenthal just tweeted that he gets the extra $5 million if he makes 640 plate appearances.
For what it’s worth, Beltre has made 640 plate appearances thrice in his career: 2004-2006, which were his age 25-27 seasons. He fell one plate appearance short in 2007. He had 612 and 477 in the past two years.
Is the incentive attainable? Absolutely, though if the Red Sox can’t unload Mike Lowell for some reason, one wonders if they’ll keep him on the roster somehow, taking plate appearances away from Beltre. That’s probably unlikely.
Whether it’s more unlikely than a 31 year-old player coming off an injury returning to the health and durability he enjoyed in his prime is an open question.