Red Sox Sign Beltre

I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things here. I’ll catch up on the deals that happened over the holidays shortly.

Reports have the Red Sox signing Adrian Beltre to a contract that guarantees him $10 million for one year. The deal supposedly includes a player option for a second year that would be for $5 million (in lieu of a $1 million buyout) pushing the potential money guaranteed to Beltre to $14 million over the next two years. The option is also said to have escalators that increase the value of the option.

This is an interesting deal. I have Beltre estimated to be worth about $10.5 million in 2010. From Beltre’s perspective this deal grants him some financial security if his production falls off, but allows him the option to seek a better free-agent deal if he rebounds from his down 2009 season. The Red Sox get an excellent defender and decent hitter for about his projected worth—he’ll likely be worth a little more to the winning Red Sox—and if he falls off, they don’t have to pay him much in the second year.

3 Responses “Red Sox Sign Beltre”

  1. This option is very confusing; if Beltre decides to turn it down, the Red Sox have to pay him $1 million? I can think of no “option” where the party holding the option is also the one receiving the premium.

  2. stanleygoober says:

    The option is for the Red Sox if Beltre picks up his option next year. So if Beltre underperforms this year, he will be likely to pick up his option next year and the Sox can part ways with him for a $1 mil buyout.

  3. Stanley, in that case, it is a mutual option, not a player option. Somewhere else reported (and I can’t remember where now) that the option allows the Red Sox to amortize the deal over two seasons for luxury tax purposes. In which case, we really should look at this as a 1-year deal for nearly $10 million.