Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Updated: January 5, 12:22 PM ET
Sources: Adrian Beltre arrives in Dallas
By Richard Durrett
Free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre arrived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Tuesday afternoon to undergo a physical, the final hurdle in completing his long-term deal with the Texas Rangers, sources told ESPNDallas.com and ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick.
An announcement of the contract could come as early as Wednesday.
A source told ESPN.com earlier Tuesday that the two sides were hammering out a deal worth up to $96 million over six years. The final year for $16 million could be voided by the team if Beltre doesn't reach certain thresholds, likely a certain number of plate appearances. So Beltre is guaranteed five years at $80 million.
The Rangers will have to surrender a first-round pick to Boston as compensation for Beltre, who will be signing the second long-term deal of his career. He earned a five-year, $64 million deal from the Seattle Mariners in 2004 and hit .266 with 103 homers during the life of that contract. Beltre took a one-year deal worth $10 million from the Red Sox in 2010 so that he could re-establish his value.
The acquisition makes Beltre the starting third baseman with Michael Young shifting to designated hitter and a super-utility position.
Beltre, who turns 32 the first week of the season, hit .321 with 28 homers and 102 RBIs for the Boston Red Sox in 2010. He's won two Gold Gloves at third base.
Beltre led the American League in doubles with 49 and was an All-Star in 2010. He has impressive defensive numbers and was plus-10 in defensive runs saved while Young was minus-13.
Young said Monday evening that he was willing to move positions for the second time in three seasons and the third time since 2004 to accommodate Beltre.
"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 said he did not want to be traded. He was told his role would be primarily as a DH, but that he would also spell the regulars at most of the other infield positions so that he could play the field and stay in the lineup. He's played second base, shortstop and third base in his career.
Young, 34, will be making the third move since 2004, when he shifted from second base to shortstop so that Alfonso Soriano could play second. He then moved to third base in 2009 to make room for rookie Elvis Andrus. Young made that move just months after winning a Gold Glove at shortstop.
Young will likely stay at his customary No. 2 spot in the lineup with Josh Hamilton hitting third. Beltre gives the Rangers a bat that can protect the AL MVP, much the same way Vladimir Guerrero did in 2010.
Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his mailbag.