The Oakland Athletics have reportedly fired the first shot in the Adrian Beltre sweepstakes with a five-year, $45 million offer, according to the Dominican newspaper El Dia.
The report comes on the second day of the GM meetings in Orlando, Fla., and figures to be just one of many offers sent the way of Beltre, who unsurprisingly turned down a $10 million player option to stay in Boston in 2011.
Word that Oakland, often a quieter organization when it comes to big-name free agents, is the first in the pool is notable. It's a near certainty the Athletics will be outbid — The Boston Globe reported from the meetings that the Red Sox would have a ceiling of $52 million for four years, and there was an earlier report that as many as a dozen teams have interest in the top third baseman on the market.
Beltre hit .321 with 28 homers and 102 RBIs in 2010, his first and possibly only year with the Red Sox.