I was a late, qualified addition to the miniscule Beltre-to-the-Braves bandwagon. He's a big-time defensive third baseman with enough power to make his bat above average, particularly out of the awful pitcher's park in Safeco, though his bad on-base percentage negates a lot of his offensive value. He's really the only player who would be able to convince Chipper to move off third again, and considering our utter lack of organizational depth at the position, we're probably eventually going to have to fill the hole there from the free agent market -- regardless of whether Chipper's still on the team.
So I saw Beltre as someone who potentially filled one of our holes at the corners, even though moving Chipper to first would make Troy Glaus a positionless man. Anyway, the slight air in my tires was just deflated last night, when Adrian Beltre turned down more money to play for the Red Sox, accepting nothing more than a one year, $9 million contract with a $5 million player option for 2011. This is such peanuts that I'm slightly shocked -- if he takes the option, at 2 years, $14 million, he's basically earning Mark DeRosa money. But I doubt that he will, because $5 million for a player who's just coming off a $64 million contract is basically an insultingly low amount of money. So he's taking a gamble on the Red Sox's playoff chances and the U.S. economy recovering.
I wish we were a good enough team to persuade big-time players to sign for huge discounts.