The Angels appear on the verge of missing out on the second free agent they have targeted this winter, as Adrian Beltre is reportedly close to a deal with the Texas Rangers. Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reported that a deal between Beltre and the Rangers is "imminent," and figures to be at least a five-year contract with an option for a sixth year, or just a six-year contract, somewhere in the $15-16 million per year range. If Beltre does in fact sign with Texas, he will join Carl Crawford as free agents who have spurned the Angels for a more lucrative offer elsewhere.
The Angels were deep in negotiations with Crawford during the winter meetings in December, when the Red Sox swooped in and got their man with a seven-year, $142 million deal. With Crawford gone, the Angels turned their attention to Beltre, who hit .321/.365/.553 with 28 home runs for the Red Sox in 2010 and is generally considered one of the best defensive third basemen in the game. The Angels made what owner Arte Moreno termed a "significant offer" to Beltre in December, but it appears the Rangers may have the best offer on the table.
The Angels have roughly $90.4 million committed to 11 players in 2011, with another eight players due raises via salary arbitration. It is unclear just how high their payroll will soar this season, but even without Beltre it figures to top $120 million, at least. Without Beltre, their offense figures to be some combination of the following players:
Catcher: Mike Napoli, Jeff Mathis
- Infield: Kendry Morales, Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar, Alberto Callaspo, Maicer Izturis
- Outfield: Bobby Abreu, Peter Bourjos, Torii Hunter, Juan Rivera
Designated hitter would probably rotate depending on matchups, but whether or not a division winning offense can be formed out of this group remains to be seen.
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