Dave · December 16, 2004 at 3:08 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Congratulations to Bill Bavasi on making the best signing of the offseason to date. Getting, in my mind, the premier free agent in this class for our situation, to agree to a 5 year, $65 million contract in this market, is a stunning accomplishment. Toss in that Scott Boras was the agent in charge and it’s downright ridiculous that we got such a good deal.

The organization just signed a franchise player who is entering his prime, filling the biggest hole the club has on the major league roster. They’ve locked themselves into an all-star talent through his most productive years, and have done so at what appears to be a below market rate.

This is just a great move all the way around. For all the grief we’ve given the front office the past year, we’re certainly willing to applaud them when they make an intelligent deal that helps the organization. Big congratulations to the entire front office. Well done.


50 Responses to “Beltre”

  1. J on December 16th, 2004 3:09 pm

    Sounds like spirits will certainly be high for the pizza feed this weekend.

    Good deal!

  2. Tim on December 16th, 2004 3:13 pm

    I join with everybody in applauding the signing – and begging you guys to do a ‘now what’ post in the wake of the two big signings. A very exciting day for Mariners fans.

  3. Scott G. on December 16th, 2004 3:13 pm

    I’m speechless! Stunned even! How does Beltre ONLY get $13 mill? And how does Boras allow it!? Seriously, I’m an athiest and this is so improbable that it’s making me doubt the existance of a higher being.

    It’s a Christmas Miracle, Charlie Brown!!!

  4. Jon on December 16th, 2004 3:16 pm

    I was wrong. I was wrong. I was wrong. Whoever said the M’s would get Beltre was right. I promise not to forget.

  5. David J Corcoran on December 16th, 2004 3:21 pm

    I promise not to whine all season.

  6. David M on December 16th, 2004 3:24 pm

    There are no certainties in baseball. Beltre could go Richard HIdalgo on us. But I too am happy. There is hope, not only for the next five years, but for next year as well.

  7. Paul Covert on December 16th, 2004 3:25 pm

    Okay, now I’m willing to think about pitching for next year. The lineup now looks fairly well above average (I’m thinking Lopez and Olivo below average; Winn, Ibanez, and Bucky about average; Sexson and Boone above average, enough to offset SS and C; and Beltre and Ichiro 3-4 games above average each). With an improved staff, contention in 2005 may be possible after all.

    I’m also (for the first time) starting to think about the bench. Obviously Wilson’s spot is secure, along with Cabrera’s and (presumably) Spiezio’s. I’m cheering for Reed and Leone to fill out the roster (pleasenotBloomquist); if so, it could be the best bench we’ve seen since Stan Javier retired (okay, not saying much, but still).

  8. Daaaannnn on December 16th, 2004 3:25 pm

    The surprising thing about Beltre is not the money, it’s the years. That Boras let him sign, in his prime, a 5 yr deal instead of going for 6 or 7 is surprising to me.

    Rumor has it that Beltran hasn’t been offered more than 5y/$70 mil from _anyone_. It could be that the time of long term deals has gone.

  9. mfan on December 16th, 2004 3:28 pm

    But, he’ll only be thirty when negotiating his next deal. They may be confident that last year was not a fluke and see themselves as being in a better bargaining position for 2010 in 2009 than they are right now. I can see it. Having said that, I was a bit surprised as well that he only got five.

  10. Dave T. on December 16th, 2004 3:29 pm

    What do people think about the Bavasi administration in terms of making deals and signing players. There seems to be a dichotomy: good or excellent deals like the Garcia trade and the Beltre signing but juxtaposed with big headshakers like the Sexson signing.

  11. ChrisK on December 16th, 2004 3:29 pm

    I am eating crow too. This is a great signing for all the above reasons, plus 2 more:

    1. Beltre does not have any Northwest ties whatsoever.

    2. We now have 2 players who will make more than Ichiro in terms of avg salary/year. I always figured the FO would use Ichiro’s salary as a ceiling and a built-in excuse to avoid paying top dollar, using the “we don’t want to disrespect Ichi” card. I’m quite impressed that they did not play that card at all.

    Dare to dream – trade Winn for setup help and dump Bloomquist. Oh the humanity.

  12. Daaaannnn on December 16th, 2004 3:37 pm

    The rumor is that the dodgers had a deal on the table with 6 years and an option for the 7th, but that the money per year was lower. Given that, it makes sense why he went with the M’s offer. The chances he will be able to sign again for the same money or more at 30 are pretty high, and the dodger’s offer would have locked him in to a lower pay rate for a longer time.

  13. Basebliman on December 16th, 2004 3:39 pm

    It really is a new regime now! After signing Sexson, I thought the M’s would reserve themselves to signing “marginal” free agents to get the roster squared away. It’s nice to know that Bavasi actually kept his word and didn’t pull a Gillick “we tried” line. Plus, the deal is very financially reasonable. Excuse me while I stand and applaud.

  14. Paul L. on December 16th, 2004 3:45 pm


    Is it possible that they signed Sexson to such a large deal because they felt they needed to convince Beltre that they were serious about fielding a competitive club?

    I’m not asking if such logic is right; I’m asking if it’s possible that’s what happened.

    Good day for Ms fans.

  15. Mark on December 16th, 2004 3:45 pm

    The Beltre signing is the most significant free agent signing in Seattle Mariners history. Period. He is not a local player, he is not our own free agent, he is at the start of his prime playing years, he fills a positional need, the length of contract covers his prime playing years and no more…

    I ran around my apartment doing a ridiculous baseball dance today; the last two days have been so atypical an experience for a Mariners fan that I’m experiencing baseball emotions that I didn’t even know I possessed.

    Now, the FO needs to make a push for a starting pitcher. Clement is WAY overpriced at this point, IMHO. Especially after these last two outlays by the brass. A solid second-tier starting pitcher would be fine.

    Are we not supposed to post batting orders? I can’t help it, I’m excited.

    Ichiro Suzuki .414 + .455 = .869

    Raul Ibanez .353 + .472 = .825

    Richie Sexson .379 + .548 = .927

    Adrian Beltre .388 + .629 = 1.017

    Bucky Jacobsen .335 + .500 = .835

    Bret Boone .317 + .423 = .740

    Randy Winn .346 + .427 = .773

    Miguel Olivo .286 + .439 = .725

    Jose Lopez .263 + .367 = .630

  16. Daaaannnn on December 16th, 2004 3:48 pm

    1. Ichiro
    2. Boone
    3. Beltre
    4. Sexson
    5. Jacobson
    6. Ibanez
    7. Winn
    8. Olivo
    9. Lopez

  17. RJD on December 16th, 2004 3:52 pm

    I have to believe if Winn is still on the team, he would be hitting in the 2 hole. I see:
    1. Ichiro
    2. Winn
    3. Beltre
    4. Sexson
    5. Boone/Ibanez
    6. Boone/Ibanez
    7. Bucky
    8. Olivo
    9. Lopez

    Well done Bavasi! Now find a way to get us a starter.

  18. Steve Thornton on December 16th, 2004 3:53 pm

    So, Derek, what number did you put on your jersey order? Beltre’s 29 at LA, same as Boone. I can’t see him giving it up. I swear, if he gets 16, and Bloomquist gets a bus ticket and nice autographed picture to prove that he really did play in the majors once, I’ll say a little atheistic prayer to the good Lord above.

  19. Stimes on December 16th, 2004 3:54 pm

    Good deal? What I can’t believe is that they didn’t sign Tejada last year. I mean come on. He signed for 65 for six years. We overpaid, and we got someone who is not as proven as a player as Tejada is. Anyone else remember another hot hitting 3rd baseman from the National League?

  20. dan7 on December 16th, 2004 3:58 pm

    Here’s my proposed lineup for the ’05 Mariners:

    1. Ichiro
    2. Winn/Reed
    3. Sexson
    4. Beltre
    5. Boone
    6. Bucky
    7. Ibanez
    8. Olivo/Wilson
    9. Lopez/Santiago

  21. Shoeless Jose on December 16th, 2004 3:58 pm

    Beltre wasn’t hitting in Coors, he was hitting in a stadium with a similar rating to Safeco. I’m willing to bet that if Tejada was available this year, or conversely if Bavasi had been in a similar position last year, they would have got him. It’s possible it took a season like last year, and a year of Bavasi establishing trust from the ownership (and Gillick anoter year out of the picture) for this kind of deal to be possible.

  22. David J Corcoran on December 16th, 2004 4:01 pm
  23. Harry Teasley on December 16th, 2004 4:03 pm

    This is an amazing signing. Given what Glaus and Sexson got, I’m surprised he went for this low, but hey, what a great acquisition! I can wear my M’s cap here in Red Sox Nation with a smile on my face.

  24. eponymous coward on December 16th, 2004 4:05 pm

    Like I said yesterday, this MORE than makes up for Sexson. Looks like we won’t be overloaded on 1B/LF/DH types after all…and Bucky and Reed get to fight it out in spring training, barring a trade (which I suspect still might happen so we can squeeze in a starter like Perez).


  25. eponymous coward on December 16th, 2004 4:06 pm

    Like I said yesterday, this MORE than makes up for Sexson. Looks like we won’t be overloaded on 1B/LF/DH types after all…and Bucky and Reed get to fight it out in spring training, barring a trade (which I suspect still might happen so we can squeeze in a starter like Perez).


  26. eponymous coward on December 16th, 2004 4:07 pm

    aargh. stupid proxy.

  27. Evan on December 16th, 2004 4:09 pm

    Offered Tejada and Beltre for exactly the same contract, I’d take Beltre every time. He’s younger, and is a very good bet to provide more value over the life of the deal.

  28. Scott on December 16th, 2004 4:17 pm

    Unbelievable with that price. Who do you think would get DFA to open the 40men roster for Betre? I sure pray it would be Willie this time.

  29. CecilFielderRules on December 16th, 2004 4:18 pm

    We all hope there one more big fish coming in (a SP like Clement or Perez or Millwood). But to me this make all the “on the margin” signings that much more interesting, because you know that there’s already a solid core in place. Trade Winn for a SP? How about giving Brad Fullmer $1 mil to platoon with Bucky? Pokey Reese as Lopez insurance? Sign another lefty reliever? I’m not saying those are all good ideas, it’s just that now those type of marginal moves are much more interesting!

  30. JPWood on December 16th, 2004 4:20 pm

    Just a one-liner for Dave:
    Thanks for the wonderful news. I’m laughing so hard I’m crying.

  31. Jason on December 16th, 2004 4:20 pm

    #15, I’d say that Beltre is the second biggest free agent signing in M’s history, behind Ichiro. I realize that Ichiro wasn’t a “traditional” free agent though. I’d love for Beltre to prove me wrong (In a good way)!

  32. Jason LaPorte on December 16th, 2004 4:22 pm

    Well played Bavasi. The M’s poor starting pitching last year was
    a result of no run support. With Sexson and Beltre signed and healthy for 2005, I think with our current pitching, we will see way better results. Pineiro healthy, Moyer rebounding, Franklin having better run support, Madritch tough as nails, and Meche with a great comeback late in 2004 ( control better). It looks ok to me.

  33. Daaaannnn on December 16th, 2004 4:28 pm

    The M’s poor starting pitching last year was a result of no defense more than anything. The ERAs dont go up due to lack of run support.

    The pitching staff might see better records now, and some help from Beltre’s glove at 3rd

  34. James T on December 16th, 2004 4:29 pm

    Good for you Mariners fans. Now, please beat the crap out of the A’s, Angels and Rangers enough to help my Red Sox. Seriousl, though, that’s a pretty good signing considering the whole context of this offseason. Congratulations.

  35. Intolerance on December 16th, 2004 4:34 pm

    The ESPN home page is just so, so pretty right now:

  36. Jon on December 16th, 2004 4:37 pm

    I’ll say it again: I was wrong. Others were right. Beltre is a Mariner, not a Dodger.

  37. Jason LaPorte on December 16th, 2004 4:46 pm


    I totally agree that defense lacked last year. However with the lack of run support yearly in games last year, it really took a lot out of a the M’s starters. To try and play catch up in early and middle innings for a starter is tough when your team doesn’t produce runs. I think confidence was missing.

  38. eponymous coward on December 16th, 2004 5:06 pm

    The M’s poor starting pitching last year was a result of no defense more than anything

    It also doesn’t help that nobody on the staff last year really had consistently dominating stuff.

    If we get a full year of Madritsch, Meche and Piniero pitching decently, things will be better for sure, but 4/5 (Meche/Moyer) aren’t the best. We really could use Perez- which would likely send Franklin to the ‘pen.

  39. Scraps on December 16th, 2004 5:29 pm

    The M’s poor starting pitching last year was a result of no defense more than anything.

    People keep saying variants on this, and enough people chime in agreeing with it that it’s apparently a really hard idea to kill, even though the evidence is against it. As has been pointed out repeatedly, the Mariners’ team defense last year was very good. It just wasn’t historically good, as it had been for the few years before last year. We all got spoiled by an all-time great defensive team, and our perception that the team defense is poor is just wrong. The pitching struggled last year because it wasn’t very good. It looked better before last year because it was propped up by the defense. Beltre should certainly help the defense, but we still need real pitching.

  40. Dylan on December 16th, 2004 5:34 pm

    RE # 35: That picture is already my wallpaper on my lap top. I’m buying a Beltre jersey the second his number is finalized. What a great couple of days to be a Mariners fan. Beltran is next?

  41. paul mocker on December 16th, 2004 5:39 pm

    Any estimates of WARP for the next 5 years for Beltre?

  42. Kevin on December 16th, 2004 5:42 pm

    I’m in the Portland airport and it’s all peple are talking about it. I didn’t believe it at first, but it started to sink in, and…I was welling up. Un-frickin-believable.


  43. Pilots fan on December 16th, 2004 6:19 pm

    Scraps (#39) — you’re partly right. Right in that the pitching wasn’t very good. If Ron Villone leads your team in wins, your staff sucks, period. He is good in the ‘pen, but not as a SP. If everyone is healed up this year that is supposed to be (we’ll still miss Soriano), then we’ll be OK in the pen.

    You’re wrong in that the defense was good. I don’t care what the stats say in # of errors, we just weren’t good at ALL. CF, SS, 3B, 1B (after Olerud left) and even 2B at times (Boone was not as good last year as in previous years) all left a lot to be desired. I’m looking for Reed to be better than Winn in CF, Lopez is a problem in my eyes at SS, and Boone will pick it up. 1B and 3B definitely look better after the last few days.

  44. Pilots fan on December 16th, 2004 6:53 pm

    … and to finish, the rotation needs help. Piniero and Meche should be OK. Let’s hope Madritsch and Moyer are. Plus Franklin at #5? Too many question marks. We need another starter.

  45. Pilots fan on December 16th, 2004 6:58 pm

    … so, our offense and batting order don’t concern me now that we have Sexson and Beltre. Neither does the pen (I’m assuming we get Villone back and I like him in the pen). But our defense (mostly SS, but also CF) and our SP (we are banking on a LOT of guys having career years with the crew we have right now) do concern me a lot. I hope we do something to fix those before March.

  46. Adam M on December 16th, 2004 7:31 pm

    Knock me over with a feather. I never thought in a million years Beltre would leave the Dodgers–he had been there so long, the team had stuck with him despite various struggles, it was a playoff team with a large Latino market, and I just figured he’d stick there. Maybe DePodesta had something to do with it? If I were Beltre, I might have been bothered by the Lo Duca trade, and also their not offering Finley arbitration.

  47. rich on December 17th, 2004 2:22 am

    A combination of this signing and this excellent website has all but convinced this neutral european to follow the Ms in 2005… great stuff everyone.

  48. Scraps on December 17th, 2004 4:02 am

    I don’t care what the stats say in # of errors

    It’s not the number of errors. It’s the percentage of batted balls turned into outs, which was among the best in baseball. I know we all saw what looked like lousy defense, but how do you explain away defensive efficiency? We all made much of the mistakes we saw — and it’s frustrating to lose, which magnifies the importance of every terrible Randy Winn throw and every ball that bounced by Boone.

    People understand this better with offense. Strikeouts with men in scoring position are frustrating, and more so when the team is losing, but we all know how to look at the big picture when analyzing an offense. Defense we don’t understand as well, so it’s easier to let our emotions carry us away. But if you want to maintain that a team with an excellent record of turning batted balls into outs is actually a bad defense, you need to come up with a pretty good argument: something more compelling than We All Know They Sucked.

  49. Bill Christiansen on December 17th, 2004 1:12 pm

    MY OH MY!!! Unbelieveable. What a change a week can make. It’ll be nice to see baseballs flying into the bleachers instead of into the fielders gloves. Safeco will be rockin’. Let’s get a very good starting pitcher, so we don’t repeat the 1998 season of great hitting, average starting pitching, and poor bullpen work. You win consistently with PITCHING!! I am jazzed about this season. Lots of action on the field this year. Go M’s!!

  50. Jason LaPorte on December 17th, 2004 4:36 pm

    Beltre’s signing official! 70-100 more dingers with him & Sexson on board. What great news!