Adrian Beltre took a one year deal with the Red Sox in order to reestablish his value and hit the market with better numbers than he posted last year. Mission accomplished, and then some. Beltre’s +7.1 WAR is second only to Josh Hamilton in the American League, as he’s been a revelation for the Red Sox. In addition to his legendary defense at third base, he’s found his power stroke again and has been one of the league’s best hitters this year. That combination of production on both sides of the field is something few players bring, and you can expect Scott Boras to point that out all winter long.
If Beltre could be expected to repeat his 2010 season, he’d be in for a monstrous payday. But Beltre is something of an enigma on offense, as his career batting runs totals show: from 2000, he’s gone +15.7, -2.3, -2.3, -7.8 +55.3, -6.9, +7.0, +10.3, +6.0, -7.9, and +33.9. You don’t really know what kind of production you’re going to get from him at the plate. He’s had two great years mixed in with a host of solid ones, and the uncertainty of knowing which version of Beltre you might get creates some risk, which drives down prices. But the upside is tantalizing, and while Beltre does turn 32 next year, he’s shown no signs of aging, and is as durable as they come.
He’s clearly the best third baseman on the market, and every team with a hole at the position will at least kick the tires to see what Boras’ asking price will be. So, now, it’s up to you guys to determine what that price will eventually settle on. What will Adrian Beltre sign for this winter?
Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.