Friday, November 12, 2010

Adrian Beltre, Silver Slugger

Not that this is particularly surprising given the torrid year he enjoyed, but 2010 Sox third baseman (and current free agent) Adrian Beltre has been awarded the Silver Slugger for American League third basemen. Beltre hit .321, slugged .553, and belted 28 home runs, all while earning a league-best 49 doubles, and even legging out a couple of triples.

Not bad, Mr. Beltre... Not bad at all. Unfortunately for the Sox front office, as much as they'd like Beltre back, it seems as if agent Scott Boras is angling for a long-term contract. You all know as well as I do that Theo is reluctant to give players more years than he thinks they're worth - he'd much rather overpay for a shorter contract.

As frustrating as it can be to watch our free-agents walk year after year, Theo's strategy is a sound one. Within a few years we'll be treated to a first hand example of what happens when you hand out contracts with a shelf-life that exceeds the players' prime. Yessir, the Yankees core is finally aging, led by Captain Intangibles himself, and by 2013 New York will employ wayyyy too many aging superstars (except Mariano Rivera. Everyone knows androids are impervious to aging.). Personally, I can't wait.

But back to Beltre. I don't see him back next year. It's a shame, because he fits so well in Boston and at the hot corner in Fenway Park, but the fact is he'll get more money and more years if he goes elsewhere, and players don't hire Scott Boras if they're looking to take any sort of home-town discount.

But seriously... Who else can hit a home run - from one knee?!?

One thing you can probably count on is Beltre staying out of the Bronx; they're pretty set in the third-baseman department at the moment. If you asked me right now, I'd have to guess that Beltre will be on the West Coast next season. His family is still out there, and he's expressed an interest in playing out there in the past. I'm torn between wishing for his presence on an NL team so we don't have to get beaten by him, or wishing for him to land in the AL so that he can come back to Fenway, and we can all yell one last time: "YOOOOO ADRIAN!!!!!!"

But wherever he ends up, you can be sure that he'll get paid. And after the year he had for us in 2010, he most definitely deserves it.

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