With a week left before the ball drops on another year, a few free agents on the market might want to consider lowering their demands.
Third baseman Adrian Beltre reportedly is seeking $10-15 million a year, but teams aren’t forming a line around the block to hand it over. The Athletics reportedly are interested in him, but “only in an Oakland economy-size financial package,” according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. That doesn’t sound anywhere close to $10-15 million.
Adam LaRoche is rumored to be seeking a three-year, $30 million deal. The Orioles could use a first baseman, with Garrett Atkins staying at third, but not at that price. He’d be far more appealing at one year with a club option.
The Orioles considered Jose Valverde while shopping for a closer, but he can’t get the $8-10 million that he originally sought. They weren’t going to bite. And at least one report speculates that, as the market shrinks, he’ll have to settle for a set-up role.
Fragile starter Ben Sheets wants $12 million, the same amount he made in his final season. That was 2008. No wonder Erik Bedard is more appealing to the Orioles.
Utility infielder Mark DeRosa reportedly sought a three-year deal worth about $27 million, but he’s come down in years and money since the winter meetings concluded.
Outfielder Jason Bay rejected Boston’s four-year, $60 million offer over the summer, and he keeps rejecting the Mets, who are willing to pony up $64 million over four years. The line for him is even shorter than the one for Beltre, but he wants no part of Citi Field.
Outfielder Matt Holliday didn’t figure to sign early, not with agent Scott Boras calling the shots. He’s stiff-armed the Cardinals, and the Red Sox couldn’t lure him with a five-year, $82.5 million proposal.
I’m still convinced that the Yankees jump out of the shadows and sign Bay or Holliday.