Adrian Beltre, Retrospective

Dave · June 29, 2009 at 9:49 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Now that Adrian Beltre is scheduled for surgery tomorrow and is looking at a 6-8 week recovery time, there’s a legitimate chance that his season, and maybe his Mariner career, is over. A two month recovery estimate would theoretically get him back for the month of September, but there are all kinds of potential issues that could arise – the surgery could be more complicated than expected or the rehab could hit a snag, and if his returns gets pushed back even a week or two, the minor league season will be over before he has a chance to go out on a rehab assignment.

Let’s hope Adrian comes back for the final month of the season, but I wouldn’t advise counting on it. Given that he’s a free agent this winter, that his offensive skillset is a bad fit for Safeco Field, that his agent will almost certainly try to guide him to a spot that would be more conducive to putting up offensive numbers to re-establish his value, and that the M’s were pretty impressed with Matt Tuiasosopo in spring training, there are a lot of reasons to think that Beltre and the Mariners might decide to part ways after the season.

So, if this is it, and we’ve seen the last of Adrian Beltre as a Mariner, we need to make one thing perfectly clear – his signing was a complete success and he’s been worth every dime the Mariners paid him. He’s in the conversation for best free agent signing in franchise history. He’s been a terrific asset to the team and a shining light through some really rough seasons.

You’re not going to get that perspective from the mainstream media, however. The first thing that is always brought up when people talk about Beltre is the big contract signed and his 2004 numbers, and how he’s never been able to replicate that performance. Of course, lost in that ignorance is that no one expected Beltre to repeat that performance. His 2004 season was worth 10.0 wins – the only other guys to post a +10 win season since 2002 are named Bonds and Pujols. If people were expecting Beltre to perform at his 2004 levels going forward, he’d have signed for about $200 million more than he actually received.

The fact that Beltre’s 2005-2009 performance never got near his 2004 performance wasn’t a disappointment – that was totally expected. What the M’s were paying Beltre for were an average to above average bat combined with a great glove, and that is exactly what they got. Over at FanGraphs, we have a system for translating on field performance into deserved salary. Here’s Beltre’s Actual Value and Contract Value for each year as a Mariner.

2005: $8.6 million in value, $11.4 million in salary
2006: $17.2 million in value, $12.9 million in salary
2007: $12.4 million in value, $12.9 million in salary
2008: $18.5 million in value, $13.4 million in salary
2009: $5.7 million in value, $13.4 million in salary

Total: $62.4 million in value, $64 million in salary

After a tough adjustment year, Beltre’s been worth his salary and then some for each of the last three years. He was going to easily justify his paycheck again this year until this trip to the disabled list. Even with missing half a season due to an unpredictable injury, his total value is basically dead even with what the Mariners decided he was worth originally.

Beltre has been a rock for the Mariners since he got here. He’s been a consistent +3 to +4 win player, and the kind of guy that every championship club would love to have. If Adrian Beltre’s career with the Mariners is over, it should be remembered as a good one. We hope you come back, Adrian, but if you don’t, thanks for everything. You were awesome.

Comments

61 Responses to “Adrian Beltre, Retrospective”

  1. Axtell on June 29th, 2009 9:56 am

    It’s unfortunate that so many casual observers will look at Beltre’s final year in LA and think that’s what the M’s were paying for, and instead of loving having one of the best third basemen here, they kept looking for the 2004 Beltre.

    I hope he comes back, and I hope this wasn’t his last season here. The new leadership’s focus on defense will certainly make them want to bring Beltre back, but at what cost?

  2. TheMsfan on June 29th, 2009 10:03 am

    As a young whippershnapper, I was one of those who was expecting-or at least hoping-for more 48 and 134 seasons from Beltre. But over time, I began to realize that the things A.B. did on a basebal field were so much more vital than superficial stats like Home Runs and RBI’s.

    I hope he comes back next year, or at very last comes back in September. But if not, thank you for the 5 years Adrian, you were the best defensive 3rd baseman this org has seen, and probably will ever see.

  3. Bugeater on June 29th, 2009 10:07 am

    I sure hope we sign him again…his glove has never gone into slump and when he begins to hit well, its bonus time!

  4. NiceThrowLupus on June 29th, 2009 10:14 am

    So is there a chance Chris Shelton comes up and plays 3rd while Beltre is out? We all love his bat but his glove lately at 3rd down in Tacoma has definitely been suspect.

  5. droppedrod on June 29th, 2009 10:14 am

    Great post Dave. I plan on referring anyone who states that Beltre “wasn’t worth the money” to it.

    Beltre is pure magic at third and one of the things that made every M’s game, no matter what the score, worth watching. You always knew that, at some point during the game, you would think (often out loud) “holy, s***, did he really just do that?” M’s fans will probably only truly appreciate how great a glove he has now that someone else is going to be there every game.

  6. Joe C on June 29th, 2009 10:15 am

    It seems like everyone who thinks this is a bad signing starts their argument with “Sexson & Beltre…”

    I also find it interesting that those who don’t appreciate Mike Cameron (or Ichiro) and love Raul Ibanez think Beltre is a bust.

  7. WTF_Ms on June 29th, 2009 10:30 am

    I think it would be beneficial for the M’s to sign Beltre to at least a 1 year deal, and then try to build that part of the Minors ASAP. Tui is OK, but he isn’t the answer. At least not yet.

    I hope to watch Beltre for another season in Safeco!

  8. diderot on June 29th, 2009 10:40 am

    Many people old enough to have seen a lot of Brooks Robinson play third in Baltimore might say that Beltre is just as good. Being one of those people, I can say they’re wrong.
    Beltre is better.

    But before we say goodbye, I am puzzled about one thing. Isn’t he being operated on for exactly the same injury to the same shoulder as was done in the off season. If that’s right, how come it didn’t get fixed the first time? Do bone spurs grow back that fast?

  9. jro on June 29th, 2009 10:43 am

    I really like Beltre and his defense, but he just doesn’t bring the offensive production that the team needs. It’s not his fault the team put him in that position, but he was acquired with the belief that he would be a big bat in the lineup. The team is still constructed with him needing to fill that role, and it is the reason why most people evaluate him as a less-than-stellar signing.

  10. Jeff Nye on June 29th, 2009 10:47 am

    Those people are wrong.

  11. joser on June 29th, 2009 10:49 am

    I think it would be beneficial for the M’s to sign Beltre to at least a 1 year deal, and then try to build that part of the Minors ASAP.

    It would be beneficial for the M’s, but as Dave says, his agent (Boras) undoubtedly won’t think it’s beneficial for Beltre. He’d be best served by taking a deal with a team that plays in a home park that doesn’t punish RH pull hitters the way Safeco does. He may indeed look for a one-year deal to re-establish his health and batting numbers, but that’s unlikely to be with the M’s.

  12. JerBear on June 29th, 2009 10:52 am

    I think out of any recent Mariner, losing Beltre is going to hurt the worst for me… he sure has been a pleasure to watch.

    My only hope is that perhaps he’s hesitant to test the free agent waters after surgery, and Zduriencik offers him a contract while he’s rehabbing and he takes it… A boy can dream, right?

  13. WTF_Ms on June 29th, 2009 10:57 am

    My only hope is that perhaps he’s hesitant to test the free agent waters after surgery, and Zduriencik offers him a contract while he’s rehabbing and he takes it… A boy can dream, right?

    My point exactly….I hope that even Boras thinks it would be a good idea to “rehab” his value in Seattle. A boy CAN dream….

  14. gwangung on June 29th, 2009 10:57 am

    I really like Beltre and his defense, but he just doesn’t bring the offensive production that the team needs.

    Quick…how do you evaluate a player? How much does defense count? How much does offense count?

  15. Breadbaker on June 29th, 2009 11:06 am

    But before we say goodbye, I am puzzled about one thing. Isn’t he being operated on for exactly the same injury to the same shoulder as was done in the off season. If that’s right, how come it didn’t get fixed the first time? Do bone spurs grow back that fast?

    Clearly, you don’t listen to Rick Rizzs (I don’t blame you). As Rick said ad nauseum the last two days, there is about an 11% chance that the bone spurs grow back in an operation like the one Adrian had. He was in that 11% group, unfortunately.

  16. chris d on June 29th, 2009 11:14 am

    I agree that his power bat has been lacking in this line up this year. Not that M’s have anyone who can be more productive offensively right now.

    What about Tui? When is he expected back? And what is his potential?

  17. Axtell on June 29th, 2009 11:18 am

    I really like Beltre and his defense, but he just doesn’t bring the offensive production that the team needs. It’s not his fault the team put him in that position, but he was acquired with the belief that he would be a big bat in the lineup. The team is still constructed with him needing to fill that role, and it is the reason why most people evaluate him as a less-than-stellar signing.

    Really, he doesn’t bring the offensive production the team needs? How many other third basemen are an overall better producer (both offense and defense) than Beltre? It’s not many. Longorias and Arods don’t just grow on trees, and, with this injury, we might have a chance to re-sign him on the cheap.

  18. HerseyChris on June 29th, 2009 11:22 am

    He’s in the conversation for best free agent signing in franchise history.

    Total: $62.4 million in value, $64 million in salary

    No offense Dave, but I think you’ve spent so long defending the Adrian Beltre signing that you’re overstating your position. If a guy who was paid about exactly what he was worth is one of our beset free agent signings ever, then the Mariners are the worst run franchise ever. I know he was injured and that it took him a year to adjust, and also that Safeco ruined his numbers, but those are all things that management has to consider.

    Beltre is a good signing, and if all/most of our signings ended up being worth what we paid, I’d be happy. But I don’t think he’s not one of the top 5 free agents signings we ever made.

  19. wabbles on June 29th, 2009 11:25 am

    AMEN! The tagline over at Lookout Landing is over the top but the sentiment expressed is one I think a lot of us around here share. Now, with that said, PLEASE sign an extension!

  20. Marinerfan4life on June 29th, 2009 11:34 am

    Resign Beltre, he is still young and his glove alone is worth the money.

  21. bakomariner on June 29th, 2009 11:39 am

    I was trying to say the same thing yesterday at the game to some Dodger fans…they were all saying he is a bust, and that they are glad he’s gone…

    I kept trying to inform them how wrong they were, and all they’d say was,”You can have him and his batting average…”

    Seriously, that was their whole argument that he’s a “bust”…

    I finally turned around and ignored them…

    I’m praying we can not only re-sign him, but hopefully get him at a discount…

    Boy can dream right?

  22. nickwest1976 on June 29th, 2009 11:40 am

    I really hope the M’s sign Beltre to an extension. Like Mike Cameron, I think he is one of those players that you don’t realize how much you miss them until they are gone.

    I see the Beltre/Cammy situations as VERY similar. People complained that Cammy wasn’t consistent enough at the plate but we have seen what a hole his loss was after he left.

    Beltre is also a total gamer…he plays hurt, he is tough as nails and he is a leader by example.

    PLEASE SIGN AN EXTENSION!

  23. Joe C on June 29th, 2009 11:41 am

    What better free agent signings can you think of that are better HerseyChris?
    Most of the ones I can think of were very bad (Sexson, Silva, Batista, Washburn, Cirillo, Spiezio). Then you have guys like Jeff Weaver and Carl Everett who signed for nothing and one year. You might argue that a guy like Branyon is a better signing, and the value this year compared to his salary is probably great, but at a one year deal, the reward is limited.
    I’d like to see your argument for a better free agent signing than Beltre.

  24. JMHawkins on June 29th, 2009 11:44 am

    If a guy who was paid about exactly what he was worth is one of our beset free agent signings ever, then the Mariners are the worst run franchise ever.

    Since you mentioned it…

    But I think implicit in Dave’s claim is that one year deals don’t count, otherwise Boone in 2001 would be the best signing (and Branyan this year might be 2nd). But among big, multi-year deals, breaking even is as good as it’s gotten for the M’s. If you don’t count extensions (e.g. Ichiro), then Beltre’s deal probably is the best over-$10M total deal the M’s have signed.

    I mean, what’s the competition? Washburn, Batista, Silva, Sexson, Cirillo (maybe Spazzio)? Of those, Washburn’s the best, and he’ll return about 75 cents on the dollar.

  25. Doc on June 29th, 2009 11:47 am

    I think that Japanese right fielder has worked out ok….

  26. Dave on June 29th, 2009 11:48 am

    If a guy who was paid about exactly what he was worth is one of our beset free agent signings ever, then the Mariners are the worst run franchise ever.

    Free agency is generally a stupid way to acquire players, and a huge majority of free agent signings end up returning less value to their teams than they are paid.

    Seriously, the list of good free agent signings in Mariner history is something like John Olerud, Bret Boone, Raul Ibanez, Jeff Fassero, Adrian Beltre, and now Russell Branyan.

    The M’s got a hometown discount with Olerud, so you have to adjust his cost factor for that. Boone, umm, yea, no comment. Ibanez was a decent signing that cost us Mike Cameron, so the net gain was actually a loss. Fassero was solid for two years and terrible for one.

    In general, significant free agent signings require contracts that pay a breakeven amount on a best case scenario, so very few of them are actually worth their contracts. When you get a premium player (which Beltre is) for market value (which the M’s did), that’s a great deal.

  27. bookbook on June 29th, 2009 11:50 am

    Teams tend to get bargains for the first six years and on the good scrap heap pick-ups. Multi-year free agent signings are the only place where the player has the leverage, is most likely to be past-peak agewise, and in a position to be overpaid based on flukish performance.

    The M’s aren’t the only ones who usually don’t get their “money’s worth” from the free agent side of the ledger.

    (Or does the fangraphs calculator take all that into account?)

  28. katal on June 29th, 2009 11:54 am

    Dave,
    We acquired Jeff Fassero via a trade. So that’s one less player competing against Beltre for the title of “best Mariner free agent acquisition.”

  29. Dave on June 29th, 2009 11:57 am

    Yea, whoops. Got the acquisition and the contract extension mixed up.

  30. jro on June 29th, 2009 11:58 am

    Really, he doesn’t bring the offensive production the team needs?

    No. As Dave pointed out, he’s an average to above-average bat. In the context of the team, we need better than that, and that’s what Bavasi signed him toward. (We all know Bavasi didn’t think much about defense.)

    Again, not his fault, and he’s doing about as well as expected. The Mariners just need more.

    Now, if the Mariners could get more from other positions, instead of placing so much responsibility on his shoulders…..

  31. Jeff Nye on June 29th, 2009 12:08 pm

    I don’t understand what your argument is. Dave’s shown that he’s been worth his contract, and you admit that he’s doing “about as well as expected”, but the Mariners “need more”?

    It sounds like you’re saying that the only way Beltre’s performance would be acceptable is if he outperformed his contract, which almost never happens with free agent signings.

  32. Graham on June 29th, 2009 12:08 pm

    You are aware that winning baseball games involves outscoring the opposition, yes?

  33. ThundaPC on June 29th, 2009 12:08 pm

    If there is anyone that deserves a Raul Ibanez-style flipout year it’s Beltre.

    Of couse if he does it for another team, the local media will make it a point to wonder why he didn’ t do it here.

    We probably should be thankful and appologetic for Beltre at the same time. He was worth every bit of his contract despite being a bad fit for the park and being surrounded by other hackers.

    Thank you, Adrian Beltre.

  34. Willmore2000 on June 29th, 2009 12:09 pm

    Won’t the 13.4 mil ’09 salary be lower after insurance pays out? So, Beltre will likely end up a positive value overall.

  35. BLYKMYK44 on June 29th, 2009 12:10 pm

    Again, not his fault, and he’s doing about as well as expected. The Mariners just need more.

    So the argument is that since the Mariners can’t sign other decent hitters that makes signing him less of a good move?

    How does that make any sense?

  36. JMHawkins on June 29th, 2009 12:12 pm

    Seriously, the list of good free agent signings in Mariner history is something like John Olerud, Bret Boone, Raul Ibanez, Jeff Fassero, Adrian Beltre, and now Russell Branyan.

    Oh yeah, I forgot about Olerud and Ibanez.

  37. Dave on June 29th, 2009 12:13 pm

    As Dave pointed out, he’s an average to above-average bat. In the context of the team, we need better than that, and that’s what Bavasi signed him toward.

    This is the stupidity we’re railing against. Players have value that is tied to their performance on offense and defense, plus their ability to stay in the line-up. Focusing on one of those things is dumb. Look at the whole package.

    You don’t acquire “hitters” or “fielders”. You acquire baseball players who do both. Beltre is a really good baseball player.

  38. HerseyChris on June 29th, 2009 12:16 pm

    In general, significant free agent signings require contracts that pay a breakeven amount on a best case scenario, so very few of them are actually worth their contracts. When you get a premium player (which Beltre is) for market value (which the M’s did), that’s a great deal.

    Thanks for the clarification Dave, I knew there was something wrong with my logic.

    Can we expect a post about what the M’s should do with the third base situation for the rest of the year? If so, I look forward to it.

  39. eric on June 29th, 2009 12:28 pm

    I think something that affects fan perception of both Beltre and Cameron is people don’t realize how hard finding 3Bmen and CFers is. People judge their offense against corner OFers and 1Bmen rather than their peers

  40. joser on June 29th, 2009 12:33 pm

    Clearly, you don’t listen to Rick Rizzs (I don’t blame you). As Rick said ad nauseum the last two days, there is about an 11% chance that the bone spurs grow back in an operation like the one Adrian had. He was in that 11% group, unfortunately.

    Besides the old ones growing back there may be others now causing the problem. The term “bone spur” tends to elicit visions of something like tiny rhino horns but they really can be nothing more than a thickening of the bone that impinges on a nerve or tendon, and they’re quite common in joints that get a lot of work/abuse, like the feet of women who wear stilettos and the shoulders of athletes who play baseball. The shoulder is a complex and difficult joint and I’m sure the docs tried to limit the amount of added trauma from the surgery, so there may well have been additional spurs they didn’t see or (more likely) didn’t think were enough of a problem to warrant going after in the initial surgery. It could be those are now creating the pain, perhaps exacerbated by swelling from the original surgery.

    If a guy who was paid about exactly what he was worth is one of our beset free agent signings ever, then the Mariners are the worst run franchise ever.

    You have been paying attention to this team over the past 30 years, right?

  41. jro on June 29th, 2009 12:38 pm

    I was trying to offer up why (IMHO) the mainstream media would see Beltre as unsuccessful. To that, the Mariners “need more” from Beltre on the offensive side. Qualify that with “need more offensive output in order for the mainstream media to consider him successful”.

    He’s still being held to the offensive output of his 2003 Dodger year. And, he plays for a team that’s dead last in runs scored in the A.L. I think it’s a raw deal for him, but that’s the environment.

    The impression against him is more a reflection of the Bavasi regime’s decision to sign him to that contract and how they constructed the rest of the team around him. In terms of dealing with that pressure, he’s been stellar.

  42. jro on June 29th, 2009 12:47 pm

    Sorry Dave, didn’t mean to be so stupid. ;-)

    I would suggest Beltre was brought here under those very conditions — as a hitter. And that’s why he’s not viewed so glowingly by everyone else.

    If that’s what your referring to as “stupidity”, I understand (and concur.) If your comments are directed to me, well…please cut me some slack.

  43. Jeff Nye on June 29th, 2009 12:53 pm

    I think you’re trying to say that some people expected him to continue to perform like he did in 2004, but nobody with any sense expected that.

  44. jro on June 29th, 2009 1:01 pm

    Very much so. Just took me many words to get there.

  45. WhitherStanJavier on June 29th, 2009 1:13 pm

    With AB *and* Endy Chavez out, we’re going to see a lot more doubles down the LF line and the team ERA is going to go way up.

    Maybe that sense of urgency will inspire Z to push the “nobody appreciates your guy like we do” angle with Boras and we actually get to keep him here.

    (As long as we’re dreaming….)

    If not, I’m absolutely in the “thanks for everything, you were awesome” camp!

  46. vj on June 29th, 2009 2:04 pm

    Kenji Johjima deserves to be mentioned as a good free-agent signing.
    And I think while it is fair to say that nobody with any sense expected Beltre to continue hitting like in 2004, expectations by a few reasonable people were a little higher when he signed. I recall a roundtable here in that offseason where Dave stated the following:
    “What am I expecting from Beltre in 2005? Probably something in the
    .290/.350/.530 range” He never came close to that, unfortunately.

  47. kmsandrbs on June 29th, 2009 2:18 pm

    Let’s assume Worst Case Scenario -
    Beltre doesn’t return and leaves via Free Agency.

    What compensation pick are we likely to end up with?

    (This is not because I want him to leave.)

  48. TomTuttle on June 29th, 2009 2:39 pm

    I’ll always contend he shouldn’t have been paid as much as he was (just like basically every contract in the Bavasi Era).

    Nonetheless, he is the best defensive third baseman I’ve ever seen on TV.

    I’d like to see Tui replicate that since you know he won’t hit 30-40 home runs every year.

  49. Gump on June 29th, 2009 3:01 pm

    Let’s assume Worst Case Scenario -
    Beltre doesn’t return and leaves via Free Agency.

    What compensation pick are we likely to end up with?

    Nothing…. unfortunatly

  50. BurkeForPres on June 29th, 2009 3:05 pm

    I’m confused as to why so many people are only calling for a 1 year extension. Are they saying that because they don’t think he’ll sign another long term deal here for whatever reason, or is there something I’m missing? Three years @ ~15 mil a year would be nice. With all the money coming off the books I feel like Beltre and Felix should be priorities.

  51. GarForever on June 29th, 2009 3:11 pm

    This may be a dead horse by now, but how is it Beltre’s fault (or reflective of his contract) that the team would “need more”? It’s hardly incumbent on him to make up for a poorly constructed team around him, unless he were underperforming his dollar value or the reasonable expectations that most sensible baseball people had when the M’s signed him, which, clearly, he has not.

    As for extensions: I am all for it, but Boras’ history as I can reconstruct it suggests it won’t happen in-season, and Beltre will hit the market. Even given the surgery, there will be plenty of teams, I’m sure, willing to take a “flyer” on an established 3B who produces at the plate better than most 3B and who is a superior glove, particularly teams that play in parks where a right-handed power swing will play well. The Cardinals are not making payroll commitments now, so they’ll have flexibility and I doubt Glaus will be back. If Beltre and Boras look for a bargain 1-2 year deal to rehab his value, don’t be surprised to see Beltre in a Cardinals uni next year; their in-house options at 3B don’t appear much better than ours.

    Compensation: It appears Beltre was just short of being Type A status on the latest calculation, so I think with the injury that’s the best we can expect.

  52. GarForever on June 29th, 2009 3:12 pm

    Type B is the best we could expect. Sorry.

  53. TomTuttle on June 29th, 2009 3:17 pm

    I’m confused as to why so many people are only calling for a 1 year extension. Are they saying that because they don’t think he’ll sign another long term deal here for whatever reason, or is there something I’m missing? Three years @ ~15 mil a year would be nice. With all the money coming off the books I feel like Beltre and Felix should be priorities.

    Felix should be the #1 priority BY FAR because he actually WANTS to stay here and isn’t one of those players who has sold his soul to Scott Boras (and yes, I say this knowing Dustin Ackley has Boras as his “adviser”).

    Beltre will be with the Dodgers or Angels next year at a reduced price, count on it.

    He never sold his house in L.A. after all.

  54. 6-4-3 on June 29th, 2009 3:17 pm

    Dave said:

    You don’t acquire “hitters” or “fielders”. You acquire baseball players who do both. Beltre is a really good baseball player.

    Well, maybe you shouldn’t, but in reality I think lots of times teams do. How many times have you heard a team needs a lefthanded infielder with some pop, or some such? There are always expectations for an incoming player, and most often these expectations are built around their offensive skills. I’m not saying that’s the way it should be, just reality…

  55. Gump on June 29th, 2009 3:18 pm

    Hopefully with the economy how it hit the offseason this last one can help the m’s re-sign him. Thats a big hope tho considering his agent

  56. JMHawkins on June 29th, 2009 3:37 pm

    You don’t acquire “hitters” or “fielders”. You acquire baseball players who do both. Beltre is a really good baseball player.

    Well, maybe you shouldn’t, but in reality I think lots of times teams do. How many times have you heard a team needs a lefthanded infielder with some pop, or some such? There are always expectations for an incoming player, and most often these expectations are built around their offensive skills. I’m not saying that’s the way it should be, just reality…

    Well, sometimes there is a difference between what teams think they are doing and what they actually are doing. A team might think it is acquiring “a left handed bat with some pop”, but what they are actually acquiring is exactly what Dave said – a baseball player. He’s a guy that either plays defense to some level of ability, or is a DH who forces some other hitter with a marginal glove out of the lineup or onto the field.

    That’s the “stupidity” Dave is talking about. Every position player a team acquires has both offensive and defensive abilities, and both matter in the final box score.

    It doesn’t matter what the GM is thinking when he makes the move, both sides go into the lineup. Aside from the DH, you don’t get to put Raul Ibanez’ bat in the lineup and Endy Chavez’ glove in LF. If you want to do that, you have to get Ben Zobrist or Jacoby Ellsbury.

  57. msb on June 29th, 2009 3:37 pm

    I would suggest Beltre was brought here under those very conditions — as a hitter. And that’s why he’s not viewed so glowingly by everyone else.

    I wish I could find where I quoted it back in ’04, but Bavasi made a point of saying at the time that if they got Beltre’s numbers excluding 2003, they would be happy.

  58. Breadbaker on June 29th, 2009 3:40 pm

    With AB *and* Endy Chavez out, we’re going to see a lot more doubles down the LF line and the team ERA is going to go way up.

    Langerhans will do just fine in LF. Can’t speak for 3B, obviously we have nothing in the system as good in the field as AB and neither does anyone else.

  59. msb on June 29th, 2009 3:43 pm

    um, that would be his 2004 numbers. Obviously.

  60. Puffy on June 29th, 2009 8:46 pm

    I see the real tragedy here is that Beltre represented one of the Ms best trading chips for a deadline deal, if they end up sellers by the end of July. He certainly would have caught the eye of some contenders – look at Lowell’s health issues in Boston, Arod in NY, Glaus in St. Louis, etc.

    This injury may have cost the Ms a decent prospect or 2.

  61. downwarddog on June 30th, 2009 2:18 pm

    So true, after leading the majors in homeruns at pitcher friendly Dodger Stadium only idiots expected Beltre to be an offensive force. According to the orthodoxy of this site, everyone knew those numbers were unattainable and that Beltre was really just a slightly above average hitter.

    Unfortunately, that’s not the way Beltre’s signing was greeted: ESPN announced the trade saying the M’s just got “another slugger.” The Seattle Times ran a story saying the M’s had just signed “the next Sammy Sosa.” “Respected scout” Don Wilke was quoted in the Times as saying his offensive numbers were not a one time aberration. “He just matured,” Wilke said. “Adrian was always a premier prospect, and last year he just put it all together.” In the PI, where they drooled over the slugging combo power of Beltre and Sexson, a Mariners executive is quoted as saying “The question is, did he play for a contract, or did he turn the corner? All the information indicates that he turned the corner.” Even the USS Mariner gushed that the M’s picked up a “franchise player who is entering his prime.” If his meager offensive output form 2005-2009 was “totally expected,” no one was saying it at the time, not even the soothsayers here, unless your definition of a “franchise player” is someone who is so great the team’s fans are too stupid and casual to appreciate and your definition of “entering his prime’ is “you’re an idiot if you expect him to do what he did last year.” Please tell us more about this fantasy world where “franchise” third basemen who sign big free agent deals off homerun titles are only expected to hit “average to above average.” It should be fascinating.

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