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January 04, 2011

Adrian Beltre is on his way to the Rangers

Free agent Adrian Beltre underwent a physical exam Tuesday night and is likely to be introduced as the Rangers' starting third baseman Wednesday afternoon.

Beltre arrived in Dallas-Fort Worth on Tuesday after he and the Rangers agreed to a deal that could pay him $96 million over six years. Five years at an average of $16 million each are guaranteed, and he can earn a sixth year for another $16 million if he meets incentives in the fourth and fifth years.

The deal is structured similarly to the four-year contract that Kevin Millwood signed before the 2006 season. He had to pitch 180 innings in the fourth year for a fifth year to vest. He did, earning a $12 million contract for 2010 that eventually led to him being traded to Baltimore in December 2009.

Michael Young will switch positions for the third time in his career, this time to designated hitter and a role in which he will see time in the field by spelling other infielders.

Beltre is coming off one of the finest seasons in a career that started in 1998 as a 19-year-old. As a 31-year-old, Beltre hit .321 with 28 homers, an AL-best 48 doubles and 102 RBIs for Boston. But his strength is his defense, and he won Gold Gloves in 2007 and 2008 for Seattle.

-- Jeff Wilson


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Micheal Young was a defensive liability last year. He never learned to get in front of the ball at third base. Beltre is a great defensive jump in talent. That he can slug with the best and fits the Ranger line up, and shoule hit very well in "The Ballpark" is a plus. The Giants got ofrf to a great start in part due to bad defense at third base and were then able to win the World Series.

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