Monday, January 3, 2011
Updated: January 4, 7:15 PM ET
Source: Adrian Beltre, Rangers close
By Enrique Rojas
The Texas Rangers and free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre are close to completing terms on a multiyear deal, a source told ESPNdeportes.com on Sunday.
"They are still talking and have not completed the details, but an agreement appears imminent," the source told ESPNdeportes.com.
The contract would pay the free agent third baseman $96 million over six years, though the club could void the sixth year if Beltre doesn't hit certain thresholds (like plate appearances, etc.), a source confirmed to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
In conjunction with courting Beltre, the Rangers have reached out to Michael Young to see if he would be amenable to a position switch. The veteran said that he's willing to move to DH and play the other infield positions.
"I want to do what's best for a winning team," Young said. "That's always been the case and it always will be. I'm willing to do what I need to do to help this team."
Young responded after a source told ESPNDallas.com's Richard Durrett earlier Monday that Young indicated to the club that he wanted to stay at third base.
Young, who has three years at $16 million per season remaining on his contract, said the Rangers talked to him about the possibility of moving several times starting at the Winter Meetings. General manager Jon Daniels has discussed the move with Young recently as well. Young said he has no idea if the team is close to signing Beltre, but he said he's willing to do whatever he has to do for the team to succeed.
"I'm very motivated to have a good year in 2011 and that hasn't changed at all over the last couple of weeks and I'll take that attitude into 2011 no matter where we're playing," Young said.
Beltre, 31, had the second-best performance of his major league career in 2010, batting .321 with 28 home runs, 49 doubles and 102 RBIs with the Boston Red Sox. He is a two-time Gold Glove winner at third base.
With Elvis Andrus locked in at shortstop and Ian Kinsler at second, Young could move to a super-utility role and play multiple infield positions and also designated hitter so that his bat stays in the Rangers' lineup.
Young, 34, has moved twice for the Rangers during his decade-long career. He moved from second base to shortstop in 2004 to accommodate Alfonso Soriano and then shifted from shortstop to third base to make room for Andrus in 2009. Young moved to third base right after winning a Gold Glove at shortstop. He was initially unhappy about that move, but by spring training was focused on getting used to a new position and improving there.
If Beltre doesn't end up in Texas, the Rangers could still go with Vladimir Guerrero at designated hitter. They remain interested in the veteran slugger, but only on a one-year deal.
Beltre had reportedly received offers from at least two other teams: a $64 million proposal from the Oakland Athletics and another for $70 million from the Los Angeles Angels.
Beltre had his best statistical season in 2004, when he batted .334 with 48 homers, 32 doubles and 121 RBIs with the Los Angeles Dodgers. That performance led the Seattle Mariners to sign Beltre to a five-year, $64 million contract. He hit .266 and averaged 21 homers and 79 RBIs per season during his stay in Seattle.
With the Red Sox, Beltre was an All-Star for the first time and earned his second Silver Slugger award.
Beltre has a .275 career average with 278 home runs and 1,008 RBIs in 13 seasons.
Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com. Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.