A’s have indeed made “big offer” to Adrian Beltre

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ESPN.com’s Jayon Stark passed along an odd rumor earlier today, stating that the A’s and Adrian Beltre were close to agreement on a contract and that the deal might be finalized by this evening.

It’s now past 9:30 PM in the east and nothing has been signed.

Beltre is a Scott Boras client and Boras often insists that his top tier free agents wait until the later part of the winter to ink contracts.  That way he can get more teams involved and play off the desperation of clubs that miss out on their primary offseason targets.

That doesn’t mean that the A’s won’t sign Beltre.  In fact, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle heard Thursday that Billy Beane and Co. have indeed made a “big offer” to the free agent third baseman.

But it probably won’t happen for several more weeks.

Beltre, 31, registered a stellar .321/.365/.553 batting line, 28 home runs and 102 RBI this past season for the Red Sox.  Those numbers will take a dip in Oakland, where the dimensions aren’t as hitter-friendly as Fenway Park, but he’s still a maestro defensively and will greatly improve the A’s chances of competing in a tough AL West division.

Brandon Crawford homers off brother-in-law Gerrit Cole

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You can’t pick your family and no one knows that better than Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. His sister Amy married Astros starter Gerrit Cole in November 2016, so the two players are brothers-in-law.

The two players have matched up against each other 18 times in the past, as Cole spent his first five seasons in the National League with the Pirates. Cole often won that battle, holding Crawford to four hits — all singles — in 18 plate appearances.

Crawford finally got the better of Cole on Tuesday night, hitting a line drive into the appropriately-named Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park for a two-run home run, cutting the Astros’ lead to 5-2.