Angels pull offer to Adrian Beltre off table, but 'door is still open' to sign third baseman
The Angels have pulled their free-agent offer to Adrian Beltre, but a major league source familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday that "the door is still open" for the slugging third baseman to sign with the team.
The Angels' stance on Beltre contradicts a recent Internet report that the Angels had "dropped out" of negotiations for Beltre, a 31-year-old who hit .321 with 28 home runs, 49 doubles and 102 runs batted in for the Boston Red Sox last season.
The Angels' offer to Beltre, who also is a Gold Glove-caliber defender, was believed to be for five years and at least $70 million, but Scott Boras, the agent representing Beltre, called those reports "inaccurate," adding that he "has spoken to the Angels front office" and was assured that information did not come from them.
Boras is believed to be seeking a deal that is comparable in average annual value to the $18-million a year Jayson Werth got when he signed a seven-year, $126-million deal with the Washington Nationals earlier this month. It is not known how many years he is seeking for Beltre.
Unlike two winters ago, when the Angels were so angry with Boras that they publicly withdrew from negotiations for first baseman Mark Teixeira, the move to pull the offer from Beltre appears to be part of the posturing process of such high-stakes negotiations.
Angels owner Arte Moreno confirmed to The Times last week that he had made "what we believe is a significant offer" to Beltre, but that offer obviously was rejected.
Moreno made it clear that the Angels' offer would not be increased, in effect challenging Boras to find a better deal for Beltre. If Boras does come back to the Angels, who got virtually no production from the third-base position last season and are in dire need of an offensive boost, a deal could be consummated quickly.
The Angels, the source said, "have not shut any doors" on Beltre.
-- Mike DiGiovanna