Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 9/14/12
Every year at the Major League Baseball winter meetings, Commissioner Bud Selig addresses the assembled cash providers and architects of the 30 teams and proceeds to roast one. He basically chooses the worst deal of the offseason, and in 2011 he believed that to be the Texas Rangers' signing of Adrian Beltre for five years and 80 million. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was not in the room when this went down; team president Nolan Ryan told him later, in passing, with a bemused chuckle. The translation for you non-Texans: We either stepped in it, JD, or we are going to show them yankees (or Yankees). They showed them all right. Or better yet, Beltre has. He has been phenomenal in the two years since signing with Texas, a reliably destructive bat and even more lethal at third base. How good has Beltre been? So much so there is an argument to be made for him as the American League Most Valuable Player. This is not one of those "Beltre is the MVP and anybody who does not think so is an idiot" Skip Bayless arguments. It is more my belief that Beltre needs to be in the discussion with Mike Trout and Derek Jeter, Miggy Cabrera and, yes, Josh Hamilton. I probably should start by admitting the argument for Beltre is complicated. This is mostly because many do not believe him to be the most valuable Ranger. As my best baseball friend emailed me somewhat smugly, I might add after I told him my Beltre theory: "Hamilton has more HR and RBI, slightly above in slugging, on-base percentage and OPS, has way more Ks but people say Ks don't matter anymore. Hamilton's stats are definitely better than Beltre's, I'd say. Although Beltre's been way more consistent." I happen to value consistency. I like my most valuables to be dependable as well. Yet I realize this is not the MDP. This is about value, and nothing underlines value quite like WAR or, how many more "Wins Above Replacement" a player gives his team compared with a bench player at the same position. Of all the sexy hipster stats, I love WAR the most because it essentially is the statistic that shows a player's total contribution, or value, to the team. Beltre's WAR is 5.9 wins, according to baseball-reference.com. That's third in the AL and tied for seventh in MLB. Yes, it is way behind Trout, whose WAR is an utterly ridiculous 10-point-something, last I checked. Beltre's value is in the obvious hitting .318 with 92 RBIs and 32 home runs and that's batting behind Hamilton, who clears a lot of bases, too. Beltre also excels with the glove. He makes a play a game, it seems, that defies fielding norms. He actually injured his shoulder Wednesday making just such a play. An MRI revealed no damage, and he's listed as day to day. He could be back in the lineup by Friday. Good thing, because the Rangers would miss him. Earlier this season, Beltre homered only once over a 29-game stretch that happened to coincide with a Rangers skid. His absences, both production-wise and now in actuality, underline his value. When it was unknown how serious the Beltre injury was, it made you wonder if Oakland could overtake the Rangers. Truth is, in a year when Michael Young has been abysmal and Colby Lewis was lost for the season and the Rangers were coming off the most brutal way to lose a World Series St. Louis down to its last strike and finding a way to win Beltre has been valuable. At the plate. In the field. In the clubhouse. He is the most valuable Ranger, and this adds him to the list of those deserving considering for AL MVP. And if I had a vote, he'd have a vote because there is value in consistently being valuable.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Nigel Hayes slams New York ahead of Sweet 16 game at MSG

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Brandon Brooks accepts wedding invite from Eagles fan

Report: Josh Gordon expected to get reinstatement update in May

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker