Report: Beltre, Rangers nearing agreement

Report: Beltre, Rangers nearing agreement

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer(AP) -- All-Star third baseman Adrian Beltre and the AL champion Texas Rangers are nearing agreement on a contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press on Tuesday.The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an agreement with Texas had not been completed."We've still got some central issues to resolve. Not done yet," the person said, without getting into specifics.Beltre became a free agent after turning down a 10 million player option to stay with Boston.A two-time Gold Glove winner, Beltre hit .321 with 49 doubles, 28 homers and 102 RBIs in 154 games in his only season with Red Sox. He was an All-Star for the first time in his 13-season career.The Rangers were spurned in their attempt this offseason to keep Cliff Lee, even after offering the ace left-hander 138 million over six years. Lee instead returned to Philadelphia.Beltre, who will turn 32 the first week of the regular season, is a .275 hitter in 1,835 career games for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1998-04), Seattle (2005-09) and Boston.Los Angeles signed Beltre as a 15-year-old in 1994, and he made his major league debut with the Dodgers four years later. After hitting .334 with 48 homers and 121 RBIs in his final season with the Dodgers in 2004, Beltre went to the Mariners.The acquisition of Beltre would mean yet another position switch for Rangers career hits leader Michael Young, the team's longest tenured player going into his 11th season.Young this week publicly expressed his willingness to switch again if Texas got Beltre. Young, who has three years left on his contract, could become a primary designated hitter also playing a utility role.Young was a second baseman when he became a starter for Texas in 2001, then switched to shortstop after Alex Rodriguez was traded in the spring of 2004. The Rangers moved Young to third base two years ago when they decided to promote rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus from Double-A.AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.