JMB · December 10, 2004 at 10:12 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

OK, hot rumor. Take this with the normal Mo Vaughn-sized grain of salt.

I just received a phone call from Derek — who would have posted this himself, except he’s away on business — who told me he got a call from someone at the Winter Meetings saying the M’s got Adrian Beltre. Now, Derek trusts the person in question or he wouldn’t have passed this along, but at the same time, it’s all rumor at this point. Please, don’t go passing this off as fact and then come back here screaming when it turns out not to be true, OK?

It took me about ten seconds to go from happy to figuring out how they’d still manage to screw this one up — Beltre plays first and they sign Koskie to play third.


34 Responses to “Beltre?”

  1. Andy James on December 10th, 2004 10:14 pm

    (**happy screeching noise unsuccesfully being squelched**)

  2. Cool Papa Bell on December 10th, 2004 10:23 pm

    Jason, I think your sentence got cut off. Clearly you meant “the M’s got Adrian Beltre a Christmas card”. Seriously though. If the only player we sign is Beltre, I’d call it a successful offseason.

  3. shigelojoe on December 10th, 2004 10:23 pm


  4. Ryan Carson on December 10th, 2004 10:25 pm

    Call me the eternal pessimist (I still think the Sonics are going to fall apart)….but with no offense meant to Derek or Jason, I’ll believe it when I see the press conference.

  5. furgig on December 10th, 2004 10:25 pm

    Um, I just don’t want to believe anything like that yet…it would be too heartbreaking if untrue.

    Still, if a player like Beltre signs here, what are the chances other FA’s will consider Seattle a serious place to come and play? Might we be able to sign a good SP and another power bat? If Beltre comes, will Beltran think twice about the Pacific Northwest? Might we raise the bar for guys like Delgado or Odalis Perez?

  6. err0r on December 10th, 2004 10:26 pm

    holllllly shit I hope this is true

  7. Ace-of-Spades on December 10th, 2004 10:28 pm

    Interesting, but of course I’ll believe it when I see it.

  8. Ryan Carson on December 10th, 2004 10:28 pm

    There is no question that the signing of Beltre would be a new era for M’s baseball. Simply put, we’ve never signed a guy of this caliber on the open market when they were very young. We’ve always been on the other end of this deal. I’d like to believe that it would affect the mindsets of other players, but I would be happy if it just signaled a committment by BB to go big on young talent in a long term strategy.

  9. jackm on December 10th, 2004 10:28 pm

    So now on a Friday night I sit at home pondering the meaning of one verb: “got”. Does it mean “agreed in principle with”? “Procured a signature on a contract from”? “Captured Beltre in some sort of bear trap”?
    At any rate, it’s heartening to see the sudden increase in Beltre-related chatter over the last 24 hours. Hopefully it means something beyond posturing by Bavasi & company or bargaining leverage from the Beltre camp.
    Regardless, good men of USS Mariner, thanks for giving us something– anything– to satisfy the insatiable hunger for M’s news/signings.

  10. roger tang on December 10th, 2004 10:28 pm

    Yeah, I’ll believe it when they have the press conference; it just seems too early for this to occur.

    Either that, or Beltre said “yes” and Boros is breaking all sorts of human speed records stopping him from signing on the dotted line….

  11. Ryan Carson on December 10th, 2004 10:29 pm

    What if Scott Boras was really Borat of Ali G fame? Wouldn’t that make the winter meetings more fun?

  12. Jeff Sullivan on December 10th, 2004 10:39 pm

    I would have preferred that you keep this to yourself until you at least got secondary verification.

    But that’s only because now I won’t get any sleep tonight.

  13. JMB on December 10th, 2004 10:47 pm

    Sorry Jeff. I’ll post more if I here more from Derek.


  14. Dylan on December 10th, 2004 10:54 pm

    Haha agreed Jeff, but it also makes me happy. JMB, DMZ or Dave, what are the chances that if we do sign Beltre, we also stay in the hunt for Delgado? An off season of those two would be beyond my wildest dreams, other than both and Beltran, of course 🙂

  15. Yu on December 10th, 2004 11:03 pm

    Why couldn’t us go after Johnson? Any chance he would want to play for the M’s again? I’d rather have him for 30 mil/2 years than 35-40 mil/4 years of pavano 🙁

  16. Paul Covert on December 10th, 2004 11:04 pm

    Not putting full confidence in it yet, of course, but it sounds like the sort of thing that could realistically be true. (Probably in the sense of “agreed in principle,” more or less.)

    The question arises: Why, then, have insiders been feeding Finnigan all the usual budget shell-game stuff since the season ended? I have no inside knowledge, but from my knothole it’s looking like an internal split between the accounting people (reporting to Armstrong) and the baseball people (reporting to Bavasi). If that’s correct, and if Bavasi’s got the pull to get stuff done over the business side’s collective head, more power to him.

    Dave’s “Agents of Change” post is, I think, worth re-reading at this point. Hopefully he won’t mind my quoting a bit of it here:

    The M’s may screw this offseason up, but they won’t screw it up the same way they have the past several years. They aren’t going to get burned by Rich Aurilia types this fall. If they screw up, it’s going to be on a grand scale.

    The M’s are going to spend a lot of money this winter. I can’t guarantee they are going to spend it all well, but I can tell you that several of the players we would like to see in Seattle will be forced into deciding to take less money from another organization to turn down the Mariners offer. And, with very few exceptions, the high bidder almost always gets the player in free agency.

    … If the M’s hit a home run during free agency, they’ll be contending for the division next year. If they swing and miss, the Bavasi regime is going to be a very short-lived one that will leave a humungous mess to clean up. I’m both excited by the potential and scared of the risk. I’m not convinced that the new way is better than the old way, or that we have the right people in charge. I am, however, glad that November won’t be a boring month to be a Mariner fan for the first time in years.

    If this Beltre report holds up, then I’ll finally feel confident in taking Dave’s conclusion (minus a minor misspelling of “December” in the last sentence) as basically correct, representing “the real direction of the organization,” rather than just “a tantalizing possibility.” (Not that I’m doubting Dave’s honesty; just that with Finnigan spinning things hard the other way, it looked to me like an internal organizational conflict with an uncertain outcome.)

    The risks Dave mentions are still true even with Beltre; we’d be signing him up for five or more years, at a pay rate that he’s only justified for one. But even if this falls apart, it’s at least fun to be the ones taking the chance for once.

  17. rockymariner on December 10th, 2004 11:06 pm

    I think post #1 said it best, I couldn’t squelch it either!

  18. James L. Crockett on December 10th, 2004 11:19 pm

    Jason… wouldn’t it make more sense for the Mariners to use both Koskie and Beltre on the left-side of the infield? Don’t both of them have “some experience” at both positions?

    I’m in the camp which believes Lopez still deserves a shot, but there’s nothing wrong with limiting his exposure, just in case he’s not fully ready. Versatility in the form of Beltre (3B,SS), Spiezio (1B,2B,3B), Leone (3B,SS), Lopez (SS,2B,3B), Ibanez (1B,OF), could take some pressure off Lopez to produce by spreading it around and easing him into whatever position ends up most comfortable.

    Whether the Mariners would be smart enough to use any player other than Willie Bloomquist this way is another question entirely.

  19. Jeff in Fremont on December 10th, 2004 11:34 pm

    Wow, and here I was pulling a prank about this with guys at work today. If this is true (please please please let it be true), then I hope they put the brakes on everything and turn their attention towards a frontline pitcher…hopefully Clement…

    …unless Beltran suddenly shows interest, in which case I say that come Monday I hope we see Bavasi, Boras, Beltran, and Beltre wearing M’s caps and s*&t-eating grins. Ah, to dream…

  20. AK1984 on December 10th, 2004 11:36 pm

    Ah, poor Willie Bloomquist; I thought he was the solution at the hot corner…J/K!!! MWAHAHAHAHA!!! By the way: The Mariners are only half of the way to purchasing a shiny new Belt.

  21. Chris on December 10th, 2004 11:37 pm

    como se dice en espanol “i just soiled myself”

  22. Jeff Sullivan on December 10th, 2004 11:38 pm

    Just so you know, Jason, I’m still not asleep.

  23. AK1984 on December 10th, 2004 11:45 pm

    Now, if only the Mariners could do the following: dump Franklin, Hasegawa, Gonzalez, Spiezio, Winn, and Ibanez; not re-sign Villone; decline Cabrera’s option; claim Wilson failed his physical; trade Boone to the Yankees; sign Carlos Beltran and J.D. Drew; etc. Then, and only then, will Bill [Mr. Watermelon] Bavasi — who currently is undeserving of his position of Exec. V.P. of Baseball Operations — earn the internet community’s respect…’deservedly’ so, too, mind y’all—YEAH!!!

  24. RL on December 10th, 2004 11:45 pm

    Please be true, if at least for one day. Even if I wake up tomorrow and it was a dream, it would still be a good dream.

  25. Rob on December 10th, 2004 11:52 pm

    AK1984 enough with trying to dump the whole team. You say it in every post, over and over again. We get your point, we see your view now, just please talk about something else.

  26. hopeful on December 10th, 2004 11:52 pm

    Perfect beginning. Will try to be optimistic. Does make sense as Boras needed to sign one of his major clients because teams were sgning other FA not wanting to wait.

    FO may have said take it or leave it now.The working relationship between Bavasi & Boras maybe a plus in this case..

    OK who is next? Still like Ordonez 1 year at Normar type deal. More upside than Delgato.

  27. Harry Teasley on December 10th, 2004 11:54 pm

    “Fortune favors the bold”. This is exactly the move you want to see: a promising younger player with lots of room to break out, to balance the risk of committing to him for a few years. For once, I’m pleased about some offseason news. Well, I was pleased that the M’s didn’t lose what sense they do have in not escalating the bidding war for Tejada last year into stupid territory, but that’s a much smaller joy compared to actually signing a potential top-tier player.

    If this happens, and it happens for less than $11m/year, then that would make two good moves by Bavasi, joining the Freddy trade as serious moves to get younger and better.

  28. eric on December 10th, 2004 11:54 pm

    seattle fan here:
    im not believing anything till i hear a press confrence considering what happened to tejada last year and what makes u think they really have beltre?

  29. AK1984 on December 10th, 2004 11:58 pm

    Okay, fair enough…I’ve got a legitimate question, though, with that being: Which player is going to get removed from the 40-Man Roster to make room for Beltre — or even Villone, when he re-signs — because I would assume that it’ll be eitherAaron Looper or Rett Johnson.

  30. hopeful on December 11th, 2004 12:10 am

    What was wrong with Rhett Johnson last season? Have never read anything explaining problems.

  31. Harry Teasley on December 11th, 2004 12:21 am

    I don’t believe they really have Beltre. I do believe that the M’s have put a good offer on the table, which several folks are saying, and that’s nothing but good news: it’s a sign of a front office that’s thinking the right way. I’ll also be happy (less happy, but happy all the same) if I see Beltre sign somewhere else for 7y/100m, because it means that the M’s weren’t willing to be really silly over him.

  32. taro on December 11th, 2004 12:33 am

    I’d like to see them get silly for a change.

    What if Beltre averages 40+ homers .300 average and good OBP with gold glove defense at third for the next 7 years? 7/$100mil would be UNDERPAYING him. The worst case scenerio is that the Mariners are filling a huge hole at third and adding a much needed middle-of-the-order hitter at the same time. Belre is a must.

  33. roger tang on December 11th, 2004 12:38 am

    re #32
    Yeah…I think there’s a time and place to really unload a truckload of money on a player. THe Aurillia deal? The Kevin Mitchell deal? No. But for Beltre? Well, it’s a risk…but it’s a calculated risk that’s not as dangerous as a lot of people think….ANd I think every team (outside of the Yankees) have one of those…

  34. Ty on December 12th, 2004 1:31 pm

    Please be true… Please be true… Please be true…….