Adrian Beltre turned his only year in Boston into a retirement plan rivaling even the best Roth IRA. Signing a deal worth $96 million over 6 years, Beltre seems to be set monetarily for the rest of his career. But this deal has to be disheartening for Rangers fans who almost tasted their franchise’s first World Series victory.
A deal such as this shows that the Texas Rangers aren’t confident in their abilities to contend for a league crown over the next five years. Unless the other players on the roster pick up the slack, the Rangers won’t be getting much production from Beltre until the 2016 season. That season being Beltre’s next contract year.*
*Due to contract terms Beltre’s last year can be voided if he doesn’t meet certain performance standards. Let’s assume his final year will be 2016, though.
For the sake of bad/ancient jokes, Adrian Beltre’s picture is in Webster’s dictionary next to “contract year player”. The guy simply doesn’t produce at the same level unless there’s new money to be scored. I understand the impetus for Beltre. Here’s a look at Beltre’s stats when still under contract for the next year(s) vs. free agent season:
Under contract average per 162 games:
R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA 80 163 34 3 25 89 11 4 48 105 .271
Contract year average per 162 games:
R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA 89 181 40 2 29 98 10 3 46 105 .284
It’s not a huge difference, but Beltre is obviously better in the traditional Rotisserie categories during a contract year; save SB.
For fantasy implications, a potential drafter can probably expect Beltre’s 2011 numbers to be closer to former stat line. Take that for what it is worth.
But what is this contract really saying about Nolan Ryan’s Rangers? Have they taken a look at their minor leagues and deemed that their best chance at victory is in 2016, not 2011? That’s some serious foresight if that is, in fact, the case. But Ryan Express seems like the kind of guy who lives in the now.
Another interesting tid bit concerning Beltre’s contract is here:
Per his contract, Beltre gets to wear jersey No. 29 with the Rangers. Center fielder Julio Borbon wore No. 29 for Texas last year.
There’s also that other thing about Beltre:
So, Adrian Beltre can’t stand having his head touched AND he’s just like Wesley Snipes in “The Fan“? Somehow I don’t feel like this is going to end well for the Texas Rangers…until 2016, of course.
Note: I don’t actually think the Rangers signed Beltre in hopes that the stars align for the 2016 season. But I do believe that the last year of his contract will be the best offensive output of the entire deal.