The Boston Red Sox have signed third baseman Adrian Beltre to a one year contract worth $9 million in 2010 with a $5 million player option for the 2011 season. No one actually expects Beltre to utilize the player option (unless he gets hurt). The option allows the Red Sox to keep the luxury tax value of the contract to just $7 million per season. This signing instantly reduces the fantasy value of Mike Lowell to nearly zero until he is traded or someone is hurt at a position Lowell can handle. I am nearly certain the Red Sox will give Lowell some at-bats against left-handers but they won't have him in a straight platoon so at-bats will be few and far between.
Beltre completes the Red Sox's makeover of their team defense. The infield now has three (maybe four depending on your opinion of Marco Scutaro at shortstop) legit gold glove candidates. Beltre, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia are superior defenders. Mike Cameron takes over center field and pushes the speedy Jacoby Ellsbury to left field (yes that is official now). The Red Sox pitching staff should see huge benefits.
Beltre should also play much better offensively in Fenway Park than he did in Safeco Field. He's moving from one of the worst parks for his skill set (right-handed pull hitter) to one of the best parks for his skill set. Dave Allen of fangraphs had a nice article about how Beltre might be better in a more appropriate park. Fantasy owners should be excited about Beltre in a way that you could not be in his years with the Seattle Mariners.
Photo from fOTOGLIF
Did you catch Hulk Hogan's return to the wrestling world last night? He's attempting to become the Vince McMahon of TNA iMPACT. There's a great interview with the Hulkster on FanHouse, if you are the least bit interested in wrestling you should check it out.
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