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Sources: Rangers to sign Beltre for $96M
A news conference has been scheduled for Wednesday, one source said.
The Rangers have negotiated some flexibility into the back end of the contract. If Beltre fails to attain a set number of plate appearances over the course of the deal, the team can void the sixth and final year.
It’s also correct to say the contract is five years with a vesting option for the sixth. Put another way, if Beltre stays healthy, his 2016 salary becomes guaranteed.
Semantics aside, fans are most concerned with what the deal means for the Rangers on the field: They have gained one of the finest two-way third basemen in the game, a two-time Gold Glove winner who socked 28 home runs for the Boston Red Sox last year.
Beltre became a free agent after turning down a $10 million player option to stay with Boston.
A two-time Gold Glove winner, Beltre hit .321 with 49 doubles, 28 homers and 102 RBIs in 154 games in his only season with Red Sox. He was an All-Star for the first time in his 13-season career.
Beltre, who turns 32 in April, didn’t perform exceptionally well during his last long-term contract, with the Seattle Mariners from 2005 through 2009. But in Texas, he will be playing for a more competitive team in a hitter-friendly ballpark.
Now speculation shifts to the future of Michael Young, the team’s popular third baseman. Young will be traded or moved to another position as a result of Beltre’s arrival. Young has said publicly that he would like to remain in Texas, but the team has explored the possibility of trading him – and some of the $48 million left on his contract – to another team.
Beltre’s deal with Texas is another defeat for the Los Angeles Angels, the longtime American League West power. The Angels have had an inert winter, watching as several free agents who fit their needs – namely Beltre, Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford – signed elsewhere.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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