It’s amazing how people keep buying what Adrian Beltre is selling. I had the privilege of watching him squander away talent for several years as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers before putting up a ridiculous .334/48/121 season in his final season in L.A., good for a second place finish in the MVP voting.
He of course earned a monster contract with the Seattle Mariners, where he was incredibly mediocre, helping to run that franchise into the ground. After that horrific contract came to an end, the desperate Boston Red Sox took a chance on him. Wisely, former MCOW winner Theo Epstein offered Beltre a one-year contract, knowing that his best seasons come in contract years. Sure enough, Beltre put up an All-Star season (.321/28/102), and finished 9th in the AL MVP voting.
We had been waiting to see what team would overpay for Beltre’s services, and today we found out that the lucky recipient will be the defending AL Champion Texas Rangers. Not a bad idea as Beltre will likely thrive in the hitter’s park in Arlington, but they made one big mistake…
They signed Beltre to a six year deal! Haven’t they been watching baseball for the past ten years? Everyone knows Beltre goes in the tank if he’s guaranteed money. You think he’s going to show up to training camp ready to work knowing that he has six years and $96 million waiting for him? Not a chance.
There is apparently some language in the contract that says the Rangers can void the final year if Beltre fails to reach a certain number of plate appearances. Well that just guards them against injuries, not against cashed-in at-bats.
So if the Rangers are expecting another World Series run, they made the right choice at third base. Just don’t expect that run to happen until 2016…when Beltre will be 37 years old. Goodness.