PDA

View Full Version : Dutton: Beltran willing to sign long-term deal if Royals sustain success


keg in kc
04-09-2003, 07:58 AM
Man, what a tough decision. It would take a lot of faith in both the team and in Beltran to nix all trades and wait until the year is over to re-sign him. With the team possibly on the rise, this could be the move that makes or breaks Allard Baird as a GM in KC...

What's the right move? My heart says keep him, my head says trade him.

Beltran willing to sign long-term deal if Royals sustain success (http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/baseball/mlb/kansas_city_royals/5589355.htm)

By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Posted on Wed, Apr. 09, 2003

DETROIT - The Royals could face a devil of a decision in coming weeks if they manage to sustain their early-season success.

Outfielder Carlos Beltran reiterated his willingness Tuesday afternoon to sign a long-term deal if he becomes convinced the club is headed in the right direction.

"This is not about money," insisted Beltran, who is scheduled to depart Thursday to begin a rehabilitation playing assignment in Arizona.

"If it was about money, I could have taken the $25 million they already offered to me. It's about playing for a contending team. Right now, we look like a contender."

But there's a catch to Beltran's desire to remain with the Royals. And it's a whopper.

"I prefer to wait until the season is over," he said. "I need to see where we're going. After the season, if I don't get traded, then we'll talk."

That creates a dilemma for the Royals, who believe Beltran's trade value diminishes each day they hold onto him. They began listening to offers in the off-season after efforts to negotiate a three-year extension went nowhere.

General manager Allard Baird's asking price is a young third baseman capable of playing immediately and at least one other top-grade prospect. But he is likely to shift gears and seek the best available deal as the trading deadline approaches in late July.

"That situation has been well-documented," Baird said. "Whether we can get something to the point where we would have to make a decision or not is a question mark."

There have been no recent contract discussions between the two sides, and the Royals likely would need some firm indication that Beltran had changed his basic negotiating position to pull back from trade talks.

Interest from other clubs should accelerate now that Beltran appears ready to rejoin the club. He is no longer bothered by the strained right oblique suffered March 11 while swinging in the batting cages in Surprise, Ariz.

"I let everything go (in Monday's workout)," he said. "I said to myself, `If it hurts, it's going to hurt.' But I didn't feel anything, and I'm swinging 100 percent.

"I'm thinking positive. When I come back, I'm going to come back playing well. I just want to go to Arizona to play a few games to get in shape, game-wise, then get back with the team."

Beltran could rejoin the club before the end of the current road trip but a more-likely return is April 18 for the start of a six-game home stand.

"It'll be like getting a big-name free agent," first baseman Mike Sweeney said. "It's going to help us not only offensively, but defensively. There's only one or two guys in the game who can play center field like Carlos Beltran."

Beltran, 25, is making $6 million this season after losing an arbitration case in which he requested $6.95 million.

The hearing occurred after Beltran rejected a three-year offer of $25.3 million because it would force him to surrender his opportunity to pursue free-agency after the 2004 season.

Beltran's refusal to consider any three-year offer convinced club officials that a deal didn't hinge on money or length of contract. They also point out that no client of Scott Boras has ever signed a multiyear contract with only one year remaining before free-agency.

But Beltran maintains his only hesitancy is his desire to play for a contending team. The Royals haven't posted a winning record since 1994 and finished last year with a club-record 100 losses.

"Every year I've been here," Beltran said, "we've finished in last place or almost in last place. You get tired of that. You want to be in a situation where you can be in a pennant race, fighting for first place or a wild card. That's what I'm looking for.

"I'm hoping we can accomplish that this year. I'd like to play for the Kansas City Royals."

Sweeney said Beltran told him much the same thing in spring training.

"I said, `What do you want?"' Sweeney recalled. "He said, `Mike, I just want a chance to win.' That's the same thing I want.

"He said, `If we go out this year and win, there's probably a real good chance that I'd come back here.' "

The Royals now must decide if the possibility of keeping Beltran outweighs the risk of getting little in return if he eventually chooses not to sign a long-term extension.

"I'm not distracted at all," Beltran said. "A lot of people ask me that. But I can tell you this: I'm at peace. I can't control where I'm going to be or where I'm going.

"What I can control is how hard I play. Put up my numbers and try to do the best I can."

Pitt Gorilla
04-09-2003, 03:41 PM
Sign the damn contract; how about we throw in 2 mil. more?

Bronco_Buster
04-11-2003, 10:43 AM
There won't be any signing til we show that we will be competitive. We'll have a better idea of that in July.