On Beltre and real estate

DMZ · August 24, 2009 at 7:47 am · Filed Under Mariners 

So whenever we mention Beltre, and particularly in the context of what may happen after the season, we get a couple emails about how he sold his house in Seattle a while back and that proves he’s out of here.

I don’t care. I don’t care if it’s true, and I don’t care if it’s not. Unless someone’s talked to Beltre and said “hey, what’s the scoop with selling the house?” and Beltre said “I know I’m leaving after this season, and didn’t want to bother selling it after I’d signed somewhere else” we don’t know. Maybe he didn’t like the place. Or maybe he thinks there’s a lot of danger in prime mortgages and he’s better off selling now and renting a nice downtown place for a while with his long-term future uncertain.

We don’t know. I didn’t know he had a Seattle house – the press guide said he lives in Arcadia, California, and that was good enough for me. I want to see him play, not hang around the closest mall hoping he’ll invite me over for beers or something.

And maybe this does mean he’s at least not so in love with Seattle that he wants to stay here, in the house he owned, even if he knew he might be playing next season in a different uniform. And maybe that means he might not want to come down on price if he negotiates with the team. That’s as far as I’m willing to go.

Even if we take that as known, that doesn’t mean that the door’s closed after this season because we can’t know what’s going to happen. Maybe Beltre likes Seattle, hates hitting in Safeco, likes the team, likes playing for Wakamatsu, likes having a bunch of random blogs singing his defensive praises. And this off-season he finds that he can make x signing somewhere else and x signing here. Or x+y for signing here. Not even Beltre knows what’s going to happen when the season ends.

There are perhaps three groups of people who can even advance the conversation, and none of them are going to help:
– Beltre and Beltre’s confidants (say, his wife) who may know if he wants to play somewhere in particular.
– Beltre’s agent, who has probably talked to him about what might happen with arbitration. Like Beltre, not going to talk because they want the M’s to bid either way (unless they want to leave and want the M’s to decline arbitration, but that’s not going to work)
– The M’s, if they approached Beltre and or Beltre’s agent about an extension and got a clear flat refusal (which again would not be in Beltre’s best interests)

Maybe the M’s are stocking up on guys who can play third because they did get that answer, and maybe they’re stocking up because it’s smart. But they don’t know what’s going to happen, and neither does anyone else.

So whatever. Let the guy make real estate deals in peace, if he’s making real estate deals.


16 Responses to “On Beltre and real estate”

  1. G-Man on August 24th, 2009 8:48 am

    I wouldn’t put it beyond $cott Bora$ to tell Beltre to sell to improve his bargaining power, but that’s just my idea of Boras.

    I’ve long been curious about the relative strength of the factors in the decision of a free agent. Money seems to trump everything else much too often. I suppose that their agent, the union, their peers and their ego want them to take the max offer. Staying where they are occasionally leads to a discount, but once the bags are packed, the high bidder usually wins.

  2. dks on August 24th, 2009 9:20 am

    Money seems to trump everything else much too ofte

    When you take a million dollars less to not move across the country for a few years – at a jov where you’re always travelling anyway – let me know.

  3. joser on August 24th, 2009 9:21 am

    Well, I think there’s a chain of inference that can lead us to conclude that Beltre had a house in the Seattle area at some point. Drayer says Beltre told a story about Tyrone Willingham being his neighbor (though he didn’t know who he was). Since it’s reasonable to assume Willingham lived in Seattle (and didn’t also commute from Arcadia California, which would be quite a coincidence, and seems especially doubtful given Willingham’s previous job was in Indiana), we’re lead to conclude that Beltre had a house there too. It’s not an iron-clad, titanium-forged chain of inference, but it seems like a reasonable conclusion to me.

    I’ve long been curious about the relative strength of the factors in the decision of a free agent.
    Money seems to trump everything else much too often.

    And I’m surprised when anything trumps money, ever. I suspect that the “relative strength” of the various factors is different in every single case, but money can compensate for a lot of them, which is why it so often “seems to trump” everything else. (Hate the city? There are nice suburbs if you have the money to live there. Hate ownership? At least you’re soaking them for lots of dough. Hate something else? At least you’re setting your family up to be comfortable for the rest of their lives).

  4. heyoka on August 24th, 2009 10:22 am

    A pay cut would be worth it if other things of value make up the difference – people take lower paying jobs to be in companies that treat them better, or to stay in a town they love. I am not sure if it totally works this way, but if they are receiving their pay in Washington state as opposed to New York, they are not paying as much income tax.

    Beltre selling his house could be evidence of a move. I would not discount smoke indicating fire. Since we are not in on the discussions, all we have to go on is inference. Sure, he may just be selling it for real estate reasons, but selling assets whose value is strongly tied to your living situation makes powerful suggestions that the living situation is going to change. It is not just a coincidence that this happens at the end of his walk year.

    Hopefully he will be persuaded to buy a new house in by Z.

  5. jro on August 24th, 2009 11:35 am

    I’m with DMZ. I wouldn’t equate selling a house right now with imminent departure.

    I like the real-estate-market angle. Think about it — would you rather sell the house with potential buyers knowing you’re leaving town (and are motivated to sell) or when you’re not so encumbered?

    If so, you have to admit it — Beltre plays great defense in MORE than one field. 🙂

  6. mln on August 24th, 2009 12:05 pm

    I think the real reason that Beltre sold his house is that he’s an actually an architectual connoisseur.

    And he’s looking for something with a Dutch Colonial theme. Either that or an Art Moderne style.

  7. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on August 24th, 2009 12:31 pm

    “Hopefully he will be persuaded to buy a new house [] by Z.”

    As in a house next to Z? There was this from Spring Training remember? Maybe he liked the sleeper sofa at Z’s so much that he’s trying to find a place in the same neighborhood:
    Remember? :

    “And I don’t have anywhere to live, either. Where ever Jack (Zduriencik) is staying, I’m going to show up at his door and ask for a room.”

    Zduriencik said that would be fine.

    “I’ll be glad to give him my bed – my wife and I will move to the other room,” he said. “Adrian and his whole family can come stay with us.

  8. G-Man on August 24th, 2009 1:49 pm

    When you take a million dollars less to not move across the country for a few years – at a jov where you’re always travelling anyway – let me know.

    When I have earned over $75 million at my profession like Beltre has, and my worst free agent offer this winter pushes me over $100 million, I will.

  9. bilbo27 on August 24th, 2009 2:09 pm

    I wouldn’t say supposedly selling his house in Seattle means anything either.

    However, Jack Zduriencik recently when asked if they were interested in Beltre coming back said “Beltre loves Seattle, but hates Safeco field” along with the normal stuff on how they’d love to have him back. To me that was pretty frankly saying “probably not”.

    Now money does trump everything else, however Zduriencik doesn’t seem like the type to vastly overpay for a player and I think that’s what it is going to take to get Beltre to stay at Safeco half his games. If Boras is smart (and he very much is), with Betlre coming off a down year due to injuries and of course a few years at a right handed power hitter killing Safeco, I’d look for a short 1-3 year deal somewhere for Beltre with an option to opt out of the third year (if applicable) and have it somewhere that favors right handed hitters power-wise.

    After that contract, Beltre would still be relatively in his “prime” and would have now likely reestablished himself as a “legit” power threat at 30+ home runs a year and of course the incredible defense. Then Beltre would be in a position to sign a much larger contract and more long term thereafter.

    It’s amazing the difference in what GM’s are willing to give between a 20-25 HR guy with decent average and 80-ish RBI’s and a guy who is a 30-35 HR guy with decent average and 100-ish RBI’s. His defense, while incredibly valuable, is not going to be nearly as valued on the market, as we all know. Most teams are more concerned with the bat than defense (for some stupid reason).

    Boras is going to look for a place to pad Beltre’s numbers for a couple years to get him the huge contract he’s not going to get this off season. If I were him, I’d pick a national league team with a hitter friendly park. Preferably one that is in contention as you can up your value, in terms of what GM’s will give, even more by having a big post-season hit (see Scott Spiezio ;-))

    So while the M’s might offer a bit more than other teams (maybe), they aren’t going to so over pay that it would dissuade Beltre from doing what’s in his best interest, namely finding some place where he can hit 30-35 HR’s instead of 20-25-ish. That’s just my two cents, I could be wrong obviously, but JZ doesn’t seem like the type to vastly overpay (or even overpay at all) for any player. It’s just not a smart way to run a club (see Bavasi and Bedard or really the vast majority of his moves during his tenure here).

  10. ChicksDigtheLongBall on August 24th, 2009 4:24 pm

    He owns/owned a place up in Sammamish near the Plateau Club. (I hit a golf ball into his back yard last year while playing in a charity event :))

  11. joser on August 24th, 2009 5:22 pm

    He owns/owned a place up in Sammamish near the Plateau Club. (I hit a golf ball into his back yard last year while playing in a charity event )

    …which you knew was his place because he bare-handed the golf ball and threw it to first to nail the runner, all while falling backwards into his pool.

  12. EagleBonesFalconHawk on August 24th, 2009 5:41 pm

    Yeah Beltre’s house was on the plateau club golf course. Hole l2 next to the green with the putting green in the back yard. I worked @ the plateau Club for a long time. I know Beltre has an apartment downtown too. He ain’t goin anywhere, he will resign. Z loves Defense!!!

  13. Dirk on August 24th, 2009 5:51 pm

    I wish I could find the article, but it talked about the relative value of a dollar in certain markets. For example, it said when Carlos Beltran signed his deal to go to NY, it was worth more in total dollars than what was offered by Houston. However, the lower cost of living in Houston made the Houston offer more valuable. I’m curious whether the cost of living in Seattle will make any difference in Beltre’s negotiations.

  14. DMZ on August 24th, 2009 6:07 pm

    Boras is going to look for a place to pad Beltre’s numbers for a couple years to get him the huge contract he’s not going to get this off season.

    I’m sorry, but this is really, really dumb. There’s no way this is their strategy. If you want to argue they’ll seek a one-year, incentive-heavy contract, mayyybe, but Beltre’s not getting any younger. Boras is smart enough to know how to maximize Beltre’s earnings over the next n years. He’s not looking for a multi-year deal years down the road.

  15. Jeff Nye on August 24th, 2009 6:33 pm

    But Boras is the Antichrist and can bend the will of weak mortals into doing whatever he wants them to!

  16. kayjay on August 24th, 2009 9:39 pm

    If indeed Beltre lived by the Plateau Club in Sammamish, I can understand why he would sell. I have known a handful of people who lived on golf
    courses and they all hated it and ended up moving. The Sammamish plateau is not exactly a happening place, it takes forever just to get to Bellevue and there aren’t more than 2 restaurants or grocery stores in the ‘city’. Jamie Moyer’s grand chateau in Magnolia is on the market-Beltre should look at that. He can always hit the 9 hole at Interbay if he feels like golfing and Ballard offers a lot in the way of entertainment.

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