Beltre and Boston Red Sox finalize 1-year contract that guarantees $10 million

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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BOSTON - Adrian Beltre and the Boston Red Sox finalized a one-year contract Thursday that guarantees the third baseman US$10 million.
Beltre gets $9 million this year, and the deal includes a $5-million player option for 2011 with a $1-million buyout. The option would escalate to $10 million if Beltre has 575 plate appearances this year.
The deal had been agreed to Tuesday subject to a physical.
A strong fielder, Beltre became a free agent after five seasons with the Seattle Mariners. He'll take the third base job from 2007 World Series MVP Mike Lowell, who had thumb surgery last month but is expected to be ready for spring training.
The Red Sox had agreed to trade Lowell to the Texas Rangers for catcher Max Ramirez, but the deal was derailed by the injury; the Red Sox are expected to continue trying to trade him.
Beltre was limited by injuries to 111 games last season - the fewest since he was a rookie with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1998. His best offensive season was 2004, his last with the Dodgers, when he hit .334 with 48 homers and 121 RBIs.
In 1,681 career games, Beltre has hit .270 with 250 homers and 906 RBIs.
Beltre won Gold Gloves in 2007 and 2008. He joins new shortstop Marco Scutaro and Gold Glove outfielder Mike Cameron as free agents who give Boston a much-improved defence. With Beltre, second baseman Dustin Pedroia and first baseman Kevin Youkilis, the Red Sox have three infielders who have won Gold Gloves.
"A lot of talk has been centred on our offence last year and how to fix our offence," general manager Theo Epstein said in December after adding Cameron and pitcher John Lackey. "But lost in that mix is that our run prevention needs some improvement as well. We were one of the worst defensive clubs in baseball last year."

Organizations: Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners World Series MVP Mike Lowell Texas Rangers

Geographic location: BOSTON

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