Red Sox reach agreement with Adrian Beltre

According to a report by ESPN.com, the Red Sox have reached a tentative agreement with free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre on a one-year, guaranteed $10 million contract.

The deal will pay Beltre a base salary of $9 million in 2010. It includes a $5 million player option for 2011 and a $1 million buyout, and is contingent upon Beltre passing a physical exam, the sources said.

Beltre, a 12-year veteran, batted .265 with eight home runs and 44 RBIs for the Mariners last season, in which he was limited to 111 games due to injuries. From 2006-08, his average numbers were .270, 25 homers, 88 RBIs and 149 games played.

The BoSox had to do something to boost their offense after losing Jason Bay to the Mets via free agency. Although he struggled in 2007, Beltre remains a solid defender, but he hit a very sub par .265 last season while battling a testicle injury. He might benefit in hitting in a better lineup coming over from Seattle, but it was probably wise that Boston only invested in a one-year deal.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Beltre, DeRosa and Washburn

According to SI.com, the Mariners have yet to receive any interest for third baseman Adrian Beltre, who Seattle would love to move because he’s in the last year of his $64 million contract.

– One name that continues to be involved almost daily on the rumor mill is Indians utility man Mark DeRosa. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Cardinals and Yankees have expressed interest in DeRosa, but neither are willing to give up young pitching like Cleveland covets.

– The Mets are rumored to be interested in DeRosa, Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson and Orioles one-bagger Aubrey Huff, but Newsday’s Ken Davidoff writes that the club shouldn’t make any stupid trades just to fill a spot while Carlos Beltran is on the DL.

MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks could become sellers soon and that pitchers Doug Davis and Jon Garland, as well as second baseman Felipe Lopez could all be on the trade block.

– The Phillies want to add an arm, but the pitchers they’re looking at (Erik Bedard, Jake Peavy, Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo and Jason Marquis) are either hurt or playing for contending teams.

– The Dodgers have interest in Seattle pitcher Jarrod Washburn according to MLB Fanhouse and Juan Pierre’s name has come up as a potential trade piece.

2009 MLB Preview: #26 Seattle Mariners

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Offseason Movement: The M’s will bring back a familiar face this season after signing OF/DH Ken Griffey Jr. The club also made a slew of trades, adding outfielders Franklin Gutierrez (Indians) and Endy Chavez (Mets), as well as pitchers David Aardsma (Red Sox) and Garrett Olson (Cubs). Seattle also signed free agents Tyler Johnson, Tyler Walker and Russell Branyan.

Top Prospect: Greg Halman, OF
Some feel as though infielder Carlos Triunfel is the Mariners’ best long-term prospect and that very well might be the case, but Halman is closer to making an impact at the big league level at this point. Halman has flashed an outstanding array of power and speed and with Seattle not expected to contend this year, he could be a late season call up. Along with Halman and Triunfel, pitcher Phillippe Aumont is another prospect worthy of keeping an eye on.

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2009 Fantasy Baseball Preview: Third Basemen

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Here is everything you need to know about the depth at the third base position these days: On CBS Sports’ cheat sheet for the top players at each position, they list 41 starting pitchers, 25 relief pitchers, 67 outfielders, 25 first basemen, 25 second basemen, 25 shortstops, 30 catchers…and 15 third basemen. Fif, teen. But wait, it actually gets worse: of those 15 third basemen, two are full-time first basemen (Kevin Youkilis, Miguel Cabrera) one is a full-time catcher (Russell Martin), and one played nearly 100 games at DH (Aubrey Huff). In other words, just over a third of all the teams in Major League Baseball have a third baseman worth drafting. And they include Ryan Zimmerman and Edwin Encarnacion as two of those 11 players, meaning even that number is padded.

What this means for you, gentle reader, is that assuming Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez and Albert Pujols are no longer on the board, you are a stone cold fool if you don’t draft either David Wright or Alex Rodriguez at your earliest opportunity, and you could even be excused for drafting Wright or A-Rod ahead of the other three. (Don’t let this whole ‘steroids pariah’ hoopla scare you; A-Rod’s gonna put up crazy numbers this year.) Almost overnight, third base has become a fantasy wasteland, so you’d be wise to snag a stud third baseman if you can, especially now that Ryan Braun has lost his 3B eligibility and Troy Glaus decided to go under the knife at the 11th hour. But even when the big names are off the board, don’t panic; there are some players that can keep your fantasy team from having a smoking hole in the ground where third base used to be.


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