MLB

When does hitting 8 home runs net you $10M? When you are Adrian Beltre and get signed by the Red Sox.

1/4/10 in MLB   |   guylake   |   321 respect

The Red Sox have not yet traded third baseman Mike Lowell but that hasn't stopped them from going out and getting his replacement. According you Yahoo! Sports' Dave Brown, the Sox and Beltre have agree to a two-year deal. The Sox will pay Beltre $10M the first year and an undisclosed amount for the second. Beltre will have a player option for the second year provided he hits certain incentives. The Oakland A's were in the hunt for Beltre and will be looking elsewhere for someone to man the hot corner.

Lovers of Mike Lowell will not be happy with this move and many Mariners' fans will be saying good riddance to a player who vastly underperformed on his 5-year $64M contract. The Sox, however, are not paying for Beltre's best year, 2004, when he hit a very suspicious .334 with 48 home runs and 121 RBI. Beltre is the best defensive third baseman in the AL and his offense, while nothing like his asterisk year, measures comparably to Lowell's numbers from 2005 on. The Sox are on the hook for $12M for Lowell next season. If they can trade Lowell without covering part of his contract (unlikely), Beltre would actually save them money.

Still, I have a feeling the Fenway Faithful might be feeling a little raw about handing an eight-figure contract to a guy who hit eight home runs in an injury-marred 2009 season. To redeem this signing, Beltre will have to get back to his 2007 level, when he hit .276 with 26 home runs and 99 RBI.  He pulls the ball more now and that should play well in Fenway. If it doesn't, the Sox have at least protected themselves from a long commitment to Beltre.
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