The Red Sox officially introduced their new third baseman today at Fenway Park, Adrian Beltre.
Beltre will wear No. 29 this season. Hitting coach Dave Magadan and John Smoltz wore No. 29 last season:
"But our interest in Adrian goes way back to his time with the Dodgers," said Epstein. "There were discussions back then about a four-player trade that never materialized. When Adrian hit free agency for the first time [after a 2004 season with the Dodgers in which he had a career-year with a.334 average and 48 home runs], we had interest then and actually considered trying to sign him and play him at shortstop for a year and then moving to third. He ended up going to Seattle [on a five-year deal]. So we're very happy that this ended up working out."
Beltre, who signed a one-year, $9 million deal with the Sox with a player option for $5 million in 2011 and a $1 million buyout, confirmed that he had multi-year offers elsewhere. Oakland, which also lost out on Marco Scutaro to the Red Sox, was reportedly one strong suitor.
"It's true I had many multi-year offers, but I made the decision to end up coming here to join a team that has a legitimate chance to get to and win the World Series," said Beltre, who will wear No. 29. "You know, I've been in the big leagues for 11 years, and I've only been in the playoffs once. . . . I think this team is built to win and the decision that I made, I'm really happy about it."
I'm really excited about Beltre being the Red Sox's third baseman. We've talked about Beltre as a player in depth, but from all reports is that he's a true gamer and he does anything to win. That's the kind of ballplayer I love. He'll fall right into line with the Red Sox' past third basemen in Mike Lowell and Bill Mueller.