Angels’ offer to Beltre worth about $70 million over five years

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The market for free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre is finally beginning to take shape.

The A’s reportedly offered Beltre a five-year, $64 million contract at the beginning of the offseason.  He never even responded to the proposal and it has since been pulled off the table.

According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels have entered a bid of about five years and $70 million, and they don’t plan to go any higher.

Beltre took advantage of the smaller parks of the American League East this past year and registered a .321/.365/.553 batting line with 28 home runs and 102 RBI over 589 at-bats.  He also played his usual brand of excellent defense at the hot corner and is thought to be seeking a six-year contract worth around $90 million.

As of now, it doesn’t appear that he has enough suitors to command that kind of asking price.  The Rangers are trying to work out a deal with Vladimir Guerrero and are thought to be only mildly interested in Beltre.  The A’s didn’t appreciate the 31-year-old’s silent treatment and are not expected to reenter negotiations.  The Angels certainly aren’t going to bid against themselves.

Unless another club comes along with something better, the Halos are in the driver’s seat.

Where are those mystery teams when you need ’em?

Major League Baseball to launch an elite league for high schoolers

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This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.

The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.

As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.