We're seeing reports that Adrian Beltre is close to signing a potential 5-year deal with the Texas Rangers via ESPN Deportes, but Jon Heyman of SI.com is suggesting that it's not as close as they might think. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram's sources are calling these reports "premature".
Of course, this isn't really "news" yet, as it's rumors and denial of rumors and refuting denial and back and forth and back and forth, but that's the glory of the Hot Stove season.
Now, I know this is completely reheated news for Rockies fans, but for those of you who missed the party in December, here's basically what it comes down to:
Michael Young, former Gold Glove winning SS for the Rangers, was moved to 3B in light of Elvis Andrus' emergence as a better defensive SS. Should Beltre be signed, that would move Young either across the diamond to 1B (as there's no way Ian Kinsler is pushed out of position) or to DH (which would make sense, at least as far as lineup construction goes). The issue for Texas, however, is that Michael Young is making a lot of money, and Adrian Beltre would also be making a lot of money. So Young could be considered a trade candidate.
Colorado was rumored to be in the mix for a Michael Young trade, as it would likely be a salary-dump style trade for Texas (and a potential PR nightmare), but that also means the Rockies wouldn't likely have to give up an insane amount to acquire his services. The issue for Colorado, however, is the amount of money that they'd have to pay for Young's services, and that's obviously a prohibitive aspect for Colorado.
Should Colorado actually acquire Young, he would likely be moved to 2B, as Stewart is a decent defender at 3B (better than Young, anyhow), and 2B is far from a sure thing for 2011. This would probably necessitate a trade of Jose Lopez for salary relief or something, but the fact is that moves would have to be made.
Sorry for the news refry, it's a pretty dead season for baseball news right now. At least Rockies news. We saw most everything worth covering over the weekend, and we're just kind of waiting for Renck or Harding or Ringolsby to tweet something new and awesome.
This is kind of interesting. Jon Heyman reports that Zack Greinke turned down a trade to the Nationals which might've included a big contract extension because he didn't see them as a winning club. I don't know if this speaks to Greinke's evaluation of team success, or if it means that Washington really isn't anywhere close anytime soon, but whatever it is, good for Milwaukee.
In other Nats news, Adam LaRoche is still seeking 3 years, while Washington has offered him 2. There's really not much of a reason for Washington to up their offer at this point, because there just isn't much of a market at the moment for LaRoche. But keep an eye on them, because after missing out on Carlos Pena, the Nats are still itchin' for a FA 1B.
I'm kind of surprised that Rafael Soriano is still out there, given that he's posted an ERA of 3 or below every healthy season of his career, and a sub-3 FIP the past 2 years. Granted, his 3.68 career xFIP suggests that his career 2.73 ERA is smoke and mirrors, but a 9.62 K/9, 2.69 BB/9 (3.58 K/BB) and no signs of being overly homer-friendly make him the premium closer still available. Thing is, as long as Brian Fuentes and Jon Rauch are still out there as cost-effective closing options, Soriano's pricetag might fall to the loser of the "bullpen on a budget" competition.
Fact is, Fuentes is probably the worst option of the 3. While Fuentes posted a sub-3 ERA in 2010 between the Angels and Twins, his peripherals over the past 2 years were the worst they've been since 2007. 2008 was a pretty awesome year for Fuentes (11.78 K/9, 3.16 BB9, 0.43 HR/9 - all career bests for seasons over 30IP - 2.73 ERA, 2.24 FIP, 3.05 xFIP), but any contract he gets going forward will be inflated by the number of saves he racked up (72 over the past 2 years).