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Monday, January 3, 2011
What would signing Adrian Beltre mean?

By Richard Durrett

As of now there is no agreement between the Rangers and Adrian Beltre. They remain very interested in the free agent third baseman and have shown that interest since the winter meetings. Talks continue. We'll wait to see if they do indeed end up with him.

Adrian Beltre
The Rangers would be committing about $30 million to Michael Young and Adrian Beltre if the latter came on board.
But blogs are fun for discussing hypotheticals, so what if Beltre does end up as a Ranger? It would mean considerable changes to the infield and the lineup in 2011. Among the items of note:

* Michael Young would need to switch positions. Again. The third baseman switched from second base to shortstop for Alfonso Soriano earlier in his career and then to third base two years ago (January 2009 is when all of that came out, in fact) for Elvis Andrus. He could become the club's DH and also rotate around the various infield positions so that he's constantly in the lineup.

* The Rangers could trade Young, but with three more years at $16 million they'd probably have to pick up part of the salary. And Young is a huge leader for this team. They'd be better off seeing if he can switch positions and continue as an important clubhouse presence.

* What does that mean for Mitch Moreland? He could play some first base as a backup or head back to Triple-A and continue to get some experience.

* It would cost the Rangers a first-round pick in the 2011 draft as they would lose that selection to the Red Sox as compensation for Beltre. (Incidentally, that would mean if the Rangers jumped into some other free agent sweepstakes, like Rafael Soriano or Carl Pavano, they would lose a second-round pick).

The Rangers would have about $30 million committed to Young and Beltre in this scenario. How do you feel about that much money tied up in two players that aren't pitchers?

Do you like Adrian Beltre? Do you think his 2010 season is more like the offensive player we'll see (.321 with 28 homers and 102 RBIs)?