Thursday, November 18, 2010
LET BELTRE GO, BUT KEEP VICTOR
There are rumors that Adrian Beltre has been offered a 5 year deal by the Oakland Athletics worth $64 million. The Sox would be fools to match this. Beltre is only 31, but his career is an up and down roller coaster of inconsistency. And he's known for having a big year when his contract is up, only to fall off the next season.
Victor Martinez turns 32 in a few weeks, and he plays a more physically demanding position than Beltre, and he doesn't play it very well. His 2010 campaign wasn't as productive as Beltre's, but it's just one year in a steady stream of consistent performances. He'll hit .280 to .300, with an OBP between .340 and .380, and slug between .460 and .500. Because of this offensive reliability, Victor Martinez is worth a 5 year deal.
Martinez will not catch forever, and should be moved to 1B and/or DH. But he can catch for a year until Ortiz's contract runs out, then move to DH. He's a better hitter when not catching anyway. In the meantime, the Sox can find a more permanent solution to their catching situation.
And that's the other big difference between Beltre and Martinez. The Sox can lose Beltre, then trade for or sign another good corner infielder to replace his production. That's not going to happen very easily at catcher.
Beltre's not worth any deal longer than 3 years. Victor Martinez, due to his consistency, and the immediate lack of depth at his position, is.