Thursday, December 3, 2009

Should Adrian Beltre Accept Arbitration from the Mariners?

Today, the Phillies came to terms with free agent 2B/3B Placido Polanco on a three year/$18 million dollar deal. On the surface, one would imagine that this deal would be good news for Adrian Beltre. You see, Beltre is thought to be the better player because of his power hitting ability, great defense at third base, and not to mention that Beltre is younger than Polanco.

All signs should point to Beltre receiving a multi year deal that far exceeds the 3 year/$18 million, right?

Well actually, maybe not a deal that far exceeds. The Phillies were one of the few teams out there, who were looking to splurge on a new third baseman. Now that the Phillies are off the market, one has to wonder what suitors Beltre will have left that have the ability to give him a long term deal. The Polanco contract effects Beltre more than say Chone Figgins or Mark DeRosa because those guys can play other positions while Beltre can only play third.

The market for Beltre does not look great outside of the San Francisco Giants. Beltre would be a great fit in San Francisco and would immediately fill their need for a quality defensive third baseman, who can hit in the middle of the order. The one thing to keep in mind here is that the Giants already have $57 million committed to their ballclub in 2010, which doesn't count the $10-$20 million they will have to pay Tim Lincecum in arbitration. If the Giants payroll tops out somewhere in the $80-$90 million dollar range, they might not have the means to offer Beltre the type of deal he covets.

Aside from the Giants, the market for Beltre is actually very weak. Here are some other teams that could be interested if the price is right:

Mariners: It remains to be seen how interested the M's are in retaining Beltre, but given his production at the plate and defensive ability, I'm sure they'd be happy to retain him for less than the $13.4 million he made in 2009.

Red Sox: If the Sox can find a way to move Mike Lowell, I'm sure that they'd love to bring Beltre on board.

Twins: If they can find a way to fit Beltre in their payroll (which should be going up!), then Beltre would be a wonderful fit.

Outside of those three teams, those are the only logical suitors I can see on the market right now for Beltre, which leads me to this point: will Adrian Beltre seriously consider accepting the Mariners arbitration offer? After running down the list of teams thought to be in interested in Beltre, it might not be a bad idea of him to accept arbitration, make $13 million+ in 2010, and try to put together a big 2010 season and re-enter the free agent market in a year. This scenario is a risk, but it would put a lot of money in Beltre's pocket now and set him up nicely to cash in after next season when he will be just 31 years old.

***Should Beltre accept the Mariners' arbitration offer?***

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

He would almost be crazy not to.
It's a guarateed 13+M 1 yr contract vrs a 4yr 32 to 40M at best.
Less competion free-agent wise next year. Plus if he has a good season he'll definately be 40M minimum; and he would have already had this years check making it l ike a 5yr deal.
Key is health. If he feels he's in good shape in line for a raise then take it. If not then definately take it!

Jorge Says No! said...

Totally agree. I think the only way for him to fully maximize his value is to take the arb. offer and not wait around for the Giants or any other team to throw a big offer his way.

Anonymous said...

Baltimore.

Donald W. said...

also, of note...
Beltre was foolish enough to add the Twins to his "will not play for" list. Now that shows me he is not a real clear-headed thinker.
(Let's see...how many post-season games has Beltre played in?)
broadcadcastdon

Anonymous said...

Why wouldn't the Angels make him an offer?

Anonymous said...

The angels won't make him an offer because he is a Boras client. They were turned off last year with the Teixeira negotiations. Boras never countered their offer and used it to make the sox and yanks pay more for his services, knowing his wife(who wears the pants in the family) preferred him to play on the east coast.

Plus, they've had Brandon Wood in the minors the last 3 years and he's out of options. Fish or cut bait with him.

Jon said...

St Louis is also looking at Beltre. If they get Holliday, they won't go for Beltre, but I know he's part of a contingincy plan in case they come up short on Matt.

JC said...

If Beltre wants to establish value for a "big payday" next year, Seattle is not the place to do it. We love Adrian, but he will never be the best version of himself playing half of his games at Safeco. He knows this and if he has to take a one year deal he will do it in a park that will help his value instead of hindering it.

Anonymous said...

I doubt last year's negotiations with Teixeira will impact the Beltre negotiations re: the Angels. That would be ridiculous. These guys are professionals, you can't refuse to deal with all Boras clients and run a baseball team.

Brandon Wood is a good point, but I've read that he isn't ready to be an every day 3B on a contending team and that they'll use him more as a bench guy.

I think Beltre would be a good fit for the Angels. Provide them with some pop that they lose if Vlad leaves and he's one of the best fielding 3B in baseball (if not the best in terms of UZR). I really don't think you can count them out.