A players’ market is taking shape

ORLANDO — There are reports out of the Latin American media that the Oakland Athletics have offered Adrian Beltre five years and $64 million.

That Oakland is interested in Beltre makes sense given that the Athletics wanted him last year and offered him a better deal than the Red Sox did.

My colleague Nick Cafardo reported the Red Sox are prepared to go up to four years and $52 million. Meanwhile Scott Boras and his operatives are saying five years and $90 million is a possibility.

Dubious sources and fanciful hopes aside, one thing that is clear is that this is rapidly becoming a players’ market. Teams appear to have money to spend and some agents (particularly the Levinson brothers) are grabbing it.

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If John Buck is worth $6 million a year and Joaquin Benoit $5.5 million a year, Beltre certainly has to figure he’s worth far, far more.

If Beltre ended up with four or five years at $15-$17 million a year, it would not be a surprise.

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