In the offseason of surprise twists and massive contracts, the Texas Rangers do not want to be left out. Multiple sources have been reporting throughout the day that the Rangers are nearing a deal with All Star third baseman Adrian Beltre. It appears that the two sides are working out a five year deal with an option for a sixth. No details have been reported in the dollar value.
I am very familiar with Beltre, as I followed the Red Sox. He is exactly what you expect, a guy who plays hard everyday and works his tail off. He is a superb defender at the corner, and a guy who can easily put up 30+ home runs (although he has only done it once in his career). Not many people outside of Boston know, but Beltre played the majority of the year with a nagging hamstring injury. Which only looks more impressive when you look at his 2010 line of .321 28 102. And don’t forget the guy started of the year with a power drought. It may appear that this guy is a free swinger, and he might be, but so is Vladimir Guerrero and look what he does. I know it would be hard to imagine Michael Young not at third base next season, but if Beltre does come to Texas, nobody will be complaining. Especially the pitching staff.
But enough drooling all over Beltre, what could this mean for Michael Young? Well, pure speculation, I would say the Rangers have a few options. They could always have Young switch positions… again.
1. Young could sail over across the diamond to first base, which at this point in his career may not be a bad move. I am sure he would be a more than capable defender at first. His range would not be tested as much and he could still be on the diamond. Not the most ideal move, but it could be done. This would most likely make Mitch Moreland a name that could be put at the DH spot. Another reason I don’t like the idea, Moreland should be in the field learning his position. But again, just speculation.
2.Young could be the team’s DH. Now this idea I may dislike even more. This would make Young the highest paid DH in the game. He would be a good contact hitter, but power would be lacking. And typically DH is a position you want some pop from. But worst case scenario, it is an option.
3. Finally, Texas could always trade Young. It was made public that the Rangers were in talks with the Rockies during the Winter Meetings about a swap involving Young. Not much else was said about it, and since then the talks have appeared to have died down. But then again, it also appeared that the discussions with Beltre and the Rangers died too. So maybe you never know.
As it stands now, Beltre is still and free agent and Young is still the third baseman for the Rangers. And I have learned time and time again, don’t count your third baseman before they’re signed. But let’s hope that this is more than just a story, and that Beltre is manning the hot corner for Texas come opening day against his former club. Only 41 days until pitchers and catchers report, the season is just around the corner!