Friday, December 3, 2010

Right of first refusal?

Based on comments in a recent Boston Globe article, it sounds as if Adrian Beltre is essentially giving the Red Sox the opportunity to match the offer he has on the table from Oakland. Beltre is apparently even willing to leave a bit of money on the table, saying "If everything was close to the same, I would go back to Boston". Granted, Beltre's agent is Scott Boras so this could all be a ruse designed to get better offers from west coast teams, but based on the quotes it sounds like Beltre genuinely wants to come back to Boston.

I've always felt that resigning Beltre was more important than resigning Victor Martinez, mostly because of Beltre's exceptional defense and Martinez's poor defense and a looming positional change. The big question was whether or not Beltre would want to remain on the east coast, as he had played every prior season with either the Dodgers or the Mariners and his family remained in the Los Angeles area after he signed with the Red Sox. The Oakland offer (5 years, $64 million according to ESPN's Jayson Stark) remains on the table. Beltre has said the years are more important than the dollars, so if the Red Sox could sign Beltre for 5 years and $60 million, I'd be ecstatic. I ought to be, considering I felt that he would end up somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 years and $60 million coming into the off season. Right now the Red Sox are offering 4 years, $54 million - a slightly higher salary than Oakland, but a year less.

To top it all off, if the A's are the team to sign Beltre, they'd only have to give up their second round pick, as their first round pick is protected.

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