A number of teams are interested in free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre, and there are reports that the Oakland A's have already offered him a five-year contract. However, if you talk to Beltre himself, he'll tell you that his desire is to return to Boston after signing with the Red Sox.
With the Red Sox, the 31-year-old had a fantastic year, batting .321 with 28 home runs and phenomenal defense. What's more is that he grew rather fond of the environment:
“I got used to seeing that park full in the first inning and still full in the ninth inning. I liked that atmosphere,’’ he said. “If everything was close to the same, I would go back to Boston. But we have to see. The number of years is what is important to me.’’
Beltre had previously spent his entire career with Los Angeles - where fans show up for about six innings a game - and Seattle - where the stadium's often half-empty. If he's a big fan of crowds, he'd be better off signing with Boston than Oakland, which has some of the worst fan support in the league.
The degree of Boston's interest is unclear, as they're currently involved with Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth. They would love to have Beltre back, though, and it appears that, if they come up with a competitive offer, Beltre will be inclined to take it. Boston's become familiar, Beltre's made a lot of friends, the stadium suits him, the environment is electric, and the team is a perennial contender. It's the ideal situation for almost any player, and Beltre is no exception.