Hey baseball fans!
The MLB offseason has already been packed with excitement, as teams are already signing players to gigantic contracts. The question is, however, will the contracts be worth it? In this mini-series on Baseball with Matt, I will be examining the careers of current baseball players after they signed huge contracts to see whether the team that signed them has gotten enough back in return. For this post, let's check out the career of one of the most underrated hitters in baseball: Adrian Beltre.
Before the Big Bucks:
Adrian Beltre has been playing in the MLB for an extremely long time, since 1998 to be exact, and his first couple of years weren't filled with excitement. In the first six years of his career, which were played with the Dodgers, the third baseman never hit more than 23 homers in a season. But in 2004, he exploded, leading the league with 48 dingers with a .334 batting average and 121 RBIs. He placed second in the MVP voting and won his first career Silver Slugger that year. In the next six years of his career, he continued to post solid stats, averaging about 22 homers a season. He also collected his first two career Gold Gloves and made his first All Star Game in 2010. But after the 2010 campaign, which he played with the Red Sox, he was granted free agency. On January 6, 2011, Beltre signed a monster 6-year, $96 million deal with the Texas Rangers.
After the Signing:
I think it's safe to say that although $96 million is a lot of money, this deal was definitely worth it for the Rangers. In my opinion, even though he is not always recognized for it, Adrian Beltre has become one of the best third basemen in baseball. From 2011-2016, he's batted a solid .308, averaging 28 home runs and 94 RBIs a season. He's made three more All Star Games (2011, 2012, and 2014) and was even the starting third baseman for the AL for the '11 and '12 ASG. But perhaps the biggest reason why this deal was worth it for the Rangers was Beltre's insane fielding ability. He's won the Gold Glove at third base for the AL in four of the last six years. Oh, and did I mention that Beltre's unbelievable leadership and play has led the Rangers to four playoff births since 2011, including a trip to the 2011 World Series?
The bottom line is that if Beltre continues his dominance for another few years, he will absolutely be a Hall of Famer, despite the fact that he tries to make contact with the wildest of pitches. His time with the Rangers has made him the legend that he is. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."