Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Uggla and Beltre

It looks like Dan Uggla - a name that has intrigued some to be had in a trade for the Orioles - has been claimed by the Atlanta Braves. He spurned a contract extension from the Marlins earlier this week and was promptly traded to the Altanta Braves for Omar Infante and relief pitcher Mike Dunn (LHP) earlier this evening.

That being said, it looks like the Orioles may be going after third-baseman Adrian Beltre.

From MLB Trade Rumors: The market for free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre is hot, tweets SI's Jon Heyman, and the Orioles "seem very interested." Heyman tweets that a dozen teams are interested in the Scott Boras client. Last week Boras told MLB Network Radio hosts Casey Stern and Jim Bowden regarding Beltre, "I would have to say in my years of doing this I’ve never had so much interest in one player." Heyman believes Beltre could be the first star to go off the board, but I'd still be surprised to see him sign before December.

In addition to the contract, the Orioles would have to surrender their second-round pick to sign Beltre. There is recent precedent for that; they gave their second-round pick (#53 overall) to the Braves a year ago to sign Mike Gonzalez.

Beltre, ranked third on our Top 50 Free Agents list, is far and away the best available third baseman this winter. In addition to the Orioles, the Red Sox, Angels, Blue Jays, Indians, Athletics, and Giants could be looking for help at the hot corner. Even the Pirates were said a week ago by Heyman to have interest in Beltre, but not all the clubs named here will be willing to go four or five years at $15MM or more per season.

With Josh Bell not looking like he's ready for prime time based on his stint last season, the Orioles need a strong, defensively-minded corner infielder and Beltre fits the bill.

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