Adrian Beltre: Are the Rangers Going To Give the Third Baseman 6 Years, $96M?

James Stewart-MeudtCorrespondent IIJanuary 3, 2011

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26:  Adrian Beltre #29 of the Boston Red Sox looks on during warm-ups prior to the start of the game against the New York Yankees on September 26, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Texas Rangers and free agent third baseman, Adrian Beltre, are reportedly close to completing a deal.

While the terms of the contract are not year known, two Dominican Republic media outlets are reporting that the deal is for more than six years and $90 million.

The newspaper El Caribe said that Texas would sign Beltre to a six-year, $90 million contract. While the website,, reports that the deal is for six years and $96 million.

Adrian Beltre posted his best season since 2004 last season with the Boston Red Sox.

The two-time Gold Glove winner hit .321 with 28 home runs, 49 doubles and 102 RBIs.

ESPN is reporting the deal is a bit more conservative: five years with an option for 2016.

If the Dominican news outlets are correct, and the Rangers are giving Beltre six years and as much as $16 million per season, is that too much?

In 2005, after posting the best statistical season of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers (.334/48/112), the Seattle Mariners signed Beltre to a five-year, $64 million contract.

He averaged just .266 with 21 homers and 79 RBIs per season during that time.

Beltre is a notorious contract year hitter. The last time he was entering free agency at the end of a season was 2004, which as I said earlier, was his best season.

He never lived up to the contract Seattle gave him. He hit free agency again, signed a one-year deal with Boston, and proceeded to have another well-timed resurgence.

If he couldn't live up to the hype in Seattle, why should Texas give him more years and more money?

The problem here is double-edged.

Beltre probably isn't worth the money Texas is going to give him, but coming off the season he had last year, it's difficult to give him a low ball offer.

Earlier in the offseason, the Oakland A's made a very serious offer to Beltre, reportedly around five years and $64 million. The Boston Red Sox were also said to be willing to give Beltre $52 million over four years.

Beltre completely ignored Oakland's offer, which they eventually withdrew, and Beltre felt he could do better than Boston's offer.

Obviously he was correct, as Texas looks to give him more than both teams, but can it really be as much as $96 million?

My gut tells me that Texas wouldn't tie up that much payroll into a guy that is so obviously a contract year player. But they have $120 million lying around after failing to sign Cliff Lee, so perhaps they feel the money is worth it.

Beltre does of course give Texas a big right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup, a solid defensive presence at third base, and the ability to package Michael Young in a trade or DH him full time.

However, it is still widely believed that Vlad Guerrero will be back with the team as their DH next season.

If the Rangers sign Beltre, hopefully it's not going to be for $96 million. Do they have that money? Yes. Should they give it to a guy like Beltre, who more than likely will not live up to the money? Probably not.

We'll wait and see if Beltre and the Rangers come to an agreement, but I can't believe the number $96 million is being thrown out there.