By Joe Stiglich
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 at 6:02 pm in Uncategorized.
Baseball news can be slow between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, but here’s some A’s fodder for you.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported that the A’s sweetened their initial contract offer to free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, but have now ended all talks with him.
We know the A’s reportedly made a five-year, $64 million offer to Beltre in November. I don’t have confirmation myself on how much they may have bumped that up, but considering Beltre has shown zero interest in signing with the A’s to this point, this latest development doesn’t surprise me. The Angels still look like front runners to get him, and the Rangers are a possibility. However, no matter how many times Beltre gives Oakland the “talk-to-the-hand” treatment, I think there’s still a chance he could wind up in green and gold. The A’s obviously are looking to upgrade at third base, and from all indications, Beltre isn’t getting the interest he and agent Scott Boras envisioned. His price tag (and the years he’s asking for) figure to drop as spring training draws closer. Signing Beltre to a five-year deal sounds risky. Three years? Looks a lot better to me …
–Rosenthal also reported the A’s are interested in free agent relievers Chad Qualls (a righty) and Hideki Okajima ( a lefty). Qualls’ agent, Alan Hendricks, confirmed to me that he’s talked with Oakland GM Billy Beane about a possible deal. Hendricks downplayed discussions, saying there’s nothing to suggest a deal is close, but he made it clear that Oakland is a potential landing spot for Qualls, 32. About six teams have legit interest, according to Hendricks. Qualls had a bad 2010 campaign, posting a 7.32 ERA and allowing 85 hits in 59 innings. But he’s a workhorse, making 70-plus appearances in five of his seven big league seasons.
Beane and assistant GM David Forst have confirmed the A’s are hunting for bullpen help, so expect an addition to the relief corps one way or another …