UPDATE: T.R. Sullivan fills in the details of the Adrian Beltre-Rangers deal:
The Rangers still have work to do before they finalize an agreement with free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. But the deal is far enough along, according to sources, that it would be worth $96 million over six years.
It would also include a clause that would allow the Rangers to void the sixth year if Beltre doesn’t reach a certain amount of plate appearances.
Let’s just call it a reverse-vest then, shall we? And let us all agree to meet in this comments thread in 2015 to discuss the ethics of benching a healthy-but-unproductive guy in the interests of triggering a voiding clause.
11:39 AM: Jon Heyman and Tim Brown are each reporting that the Rangers and Adrian Beltre are close to a deal. Heyman has the details, naturally: six years and between $90 and $100 million. Brown says the deal could be finalized today.
Heyman also makes an apt observation when he notes that the Angels appear to be in hibernation. What happened to them? Were they lying when they said they were going to be aggressive this offseason, or did they simply so totally misread the market that they’ve been paralyzed into inaction.
All I know is that the Athletics and the Rangers have each gotten better this winter while they’ve done nothing. From a distance, it appears that they are utterly abdicating the AL West chase.
On Friday, it was reported that free agent Hanley Ramirez was under federal and state investigation, though no one knew for what, exactly. Michele McPhee of ABC News said, “Obviously I know absolutely nothing about sports or Hanley Ramirez’s stats, but what I do know is crime. And there has been some reports about a FaceTime phone call that was made between a man during a car stop. After that car stop, police recovered a significant amount of drugs. And during that car stop, the suspect claimed that one of the items found in the vehicle belonged to Hanley Ramirez and then FaceTimed [Ramirez] in front of police. And that car stop coordinated with the timing of his release from the Red Sox.”
The suspect was reportedly transporting 435 grams of fentanyl and a “large amount” of crack cocaine. But it turns out that Ramirez’s name only got mentioned because the suspect was hoping to avoid arrest. Ramirez is not actually under investigation, Shelley Murphy and Evan Allen of the Boston Globe report.
The attorney of the suspect said that his client grew up in the Dominican Republic with Ramirez and used the former Red Sox DH’s name “to get the cops off his back, which didn’t work.” During the traffic stop, a trooper asked permission to open a brown cardboard box found in the rear cargo area of the suspect’s jeep. The suspect said the box contained books, shipped to him by Ramirez’s mother to deliver to Ramirez in Boston. The suspect FaceTimed Ramirez to back up his story, but Ramirez said he wasn’t aware that the suspect was on his way to visit. Ramirez gave permission to the trooper to open the box. He did, and found a gift bag with two kilograms of fentanyl. The suspect was arrested on drug trafficking charges.
Ramirez, 34, hit a disappointing .254/.313/.395 with six home runs and 29 RBI in 195 plate appearances for the Red Sox before being designated for assignment on May 25 and released on June 1. The Red Sox maintain that Ramirez’s release had nothing to do with anything off-the-field.