It’s still pretty early in the offseason and most top tier free agents won’t sign for another couple of weeks. Or months. The hot stove, however, is always burning.
Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reported two weeks ago that the A’s made a five-year, $64 million offer to free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. We’ve heard nothing about the proposal since, which has Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wondering whether that report might have been incorrect.
According to Cafardo, A’s GM Billy Beane “supposedly was a little baffled” when news of the offer came out.
The A’s are trying to improve their offense this winter, but they don’t typically shell out long-term deals to high-priced free agents and the timing of the offer seemed odd. Beane and Co. may be interested in acquiring Beltre, who registered a .321/.365/.553 batting line, 28 homers and 102 RBI in 2010, but it sounds like they’re not being aggressive as previously thought.
If Oakland doesn’t add Beltre, Kevin Kouzmanoff is likely to open the 2011 season at third base. He hit just .247/.283/.396 over 551 at-bats this past year, though he did find a way to tally 17 home runs and 71 RBI while playing seriously good defense at the hot corner.