While Scott Boras patiently waits for some team to offer Adrian Beltre a four-year deal worth around $10 million annually, the market for Beltre is simply not developing at this point.
And to make matters worse, the Red Sox, who were one of the few teams interested in Beltre that could come close to giving him the contract he wanted, might not be in the market for a third baseman anymore. The reason? The Mike Lowell to Texas trade is was cancelled yesterday:
The trade sending Mike Lowell to Texas has been quashed, a baseball source said Saturday night, after a physical exam by the Rangers revealed that the third baseman requires surgery on his right thumb, which he injured on the last weekend of the 2009 season.
A Red Sox source confirmed that Lowell will require surgery to repair the radial collateral ligament in his right thumb, which the source termed as "minor" surgery that will take six to eight weeks to heal. Lowell, who is expected to undergo the surgery after Christmas, should be ready by the first week or two of spring training, the source said.
- Continue to push for a four year/$40 million deal
- Ask for a multi-year contract with less years and dollars than option one
- Sign a one-year contract
If I was Beltre's agent (Scott Boras), I'd have to seriously think about pursuing a one-year contract. Teams are hesitant to give Beltre the deal he wants for numerous reasons (injuries, lack of money, too much competition), but I think teams would love to sign Beltre to a one year deal worth $8 million or so.
Sure it's less than he would have gotten if he had accepted the Mariners' arbitration offer , but there is a lot of upside in a one year deal for Beltre:
- The 2010 free agent class of third basemen looks weak (outside of Jorge Cantu)
- Beltre will be only 31 years old
- If he has a big 2010 season, then he could cash in on a lucrative multi-year contract next winter
Sure there are risks involved in signing a one-year deal, but it might be Beltre's best chance of maximizing his earning potential instead of settling for something like a three-year/$21 million contract this winter.