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?
MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.
Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.
Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.
Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.
The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.