Angels have ‘serious’ interest in third baseman Adrian Beltre


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The Angels’ interest in free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre is ‘serious,’ according to a source familiar with negotiations, and the feeling appears to be mutual.

Beltre, who hit .321 with 28 home runs, 49 doubles and 102 runs batted in for the Boston Red Sox last season, may have spurned a five-year, $64-million offer from the Oakland Athletics, but he is very open to playing for the Angels.


‘Obviously, Adrian has a home in Los Angeles and he’s played in L.A.,’ Scott Boras, Beltre’s agent, said at the winter meetings. ‘He’s very comfortable in the marketplace.’

Boras said negotiations for Beltre, a 31-year-old who played the first seven years of his big-league career with the Dodgers, are ‘moving quickly’ and that a decision could be made soon, possibly this week.

Left fielder Carl Crawford, according to numerous sources, remains the Angels’ top winter target, but they will probably have to make a decision on Beltre before any deal can be struck with Crawford. It is doubtful the Angels could afford both Crawford and Beltre, who is seeking a deal in the five-year, $75-million range.

‘We’re open to discussions with all teams and going through a number of negotiations with a lot of teams,’ Boras said. ‘There has been a lot of willing participants.’

The Angels also have considerable interest in another Boras client, Tampa Bay closer Rafael Soriano, who is expected to command a three- or four-year deal for at least $12 million a year.

-- Mike DiGiovanna in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.