There are two reports out indicating the Oakland Athletics have offered third baseman Adrian Beltre a five-year contract. ESPN’s Enrique Rojas tweeted the offer was for $64 million while NESN earlier reported it was an offer for $45 million. If either is correct this would be a monster financial move by the Oakland A’s.
The market for Adrian Beltre is fairly sizable, which isn’t shocking considering he is coming off a season in which he hit .321 with 28 home runs and 102 RBIs, all while continuing his solid play at third base. If the A’s did go with a $64 million offer it might be because they feel they need to put up a huge number early to keep out other bidders. NESN’s report indicated the Red Sox would go as high as $52 million over four years. That would be $200,000 more per year than the Athletics offer, but the A’s offer includes the security of a fifth year and more total money. Adrian Beltre is 32 years old and by the end of the Red Sox offer it’s doubtful he could make up the $12 million difference from the A’s fifth year.
While I would certainly be intrigued by the addition of Beltre, he is a player whose performance raises a very specific concerns. The two biggest seasons of his career came in walk years. This past season he was working on a one-year deal with the Red Sox. His other monster season came in 2004 when he was in the final year of his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit .334 with 48 home runs and 121 RBIs. It’s interesting to note that his only two seasons of hitting over .300 came in those walk years. His third walk year with Seattle in 2009 was a struggle in part because of injuries.