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Beltre, Texas Agree to $96M, 6-Yr Deal

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A two-time Gold Glove winner, Adrian 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.

    Adrian Beltre is taking over as the everyday third baseman for the AL champion Texas Rangers, and Michael Young is switching positions again.

    The Rangers introduced Beltre as their new third baseman Wednesday after agreeing on a $96 million, six-year contract with the All-Star.

    "We all know that the Rangers have a really good team. I want to win," Beltre said. "The team is willing to do whatever it takes to get to the next step. That's one of the factors to make my decision to come here easier."

    Beltre gets $14 million this year, $15 million in 2012, $16 million in 2013, $17 million in 2014, $18 million in 2015 and $16 million in 2016. The Rangers can void the final season if Beltre fails to have either 1,200 plate appearances in 2014-15 combined or 600 in 2015.

    Beltre joins a lineup in which he is expected to hit fourth behind AL MVP and major league batting champion Josh Hamliton and ahead of slugger Nelson Cruz. The batting order also includes Ian Kinsler and Young, the six-time All-Star and franchise career hits leader who will be switching positions for the third time in eight seasons.

    "The organization had a taste of something last year, finished a few games shy of our ultimate goal," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Everything that we've been talking about and looking to do this offseason has been in the name of improving the club to a point where we can win the division and get back to the World Series and ultimately win it. This signing is very much in line with that goal."

    The Rangers lost to San Francisco in five games in their first World Series appearance after beating the New York Yankees in the AL championship series.

    Beltre became a free agent after turning down a $10 million player option with Boston.

    A two-time Gold Glove winner, Beltre hit .321 with 28 homers, 102 RBIs and 49 doubles in 154 games during his only season with Red Sox. He was an All-Star for the first time in his 13-season career.

    Beltre said he spoke by phone Wednesday with Young, the Rangers' longest-tenured player going into his 11th season.

    "I have a huge respect for Michael," Beltre said. "Him willing to do that for me, it means a lot."

    Beltre wouldn't discuss what was said between the two, calling it a private conversation. But when asked if that included maybe thanking Young, Beltre responded with a slight smile and nod.

    Young this week publicly expressed his willingness to switch again if Texas got Beltre. The 34-year-old Young, who has three years and about $48 million left on his contract, will become a designated hitter while also playing a utility role.

    "In that vein of winning and team-first mentality ... what one of our stalwarts and franchise players in Michael Young has agreed to do to make the team better really speaks to that," Daniels said.

    Young was a second baseman when he became a starter for Texas in 2001, then switched to shortstop after Alex Rodriguez was traded in 2004. The Rangers moved Young to third base two years ago when they decided to promote rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus from Double-A.

    After finishing second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2009, Andrus made the All-Star team last season.

    Manager Ron Washington envisions Young being the primary DH, who will occasional play each of his previous three infield positions, and possibly first base.

    In 25 career games as a DH, Young has a .388 average with 10 doubles, three home runs and 22 RBIs. Overall, he is a .300 career hitter in 1,508 games.

    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.

    Texas earlier this week completed a $3 million, one-year deal with the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner, who hasn't pitched since the 2009 season opener after shoulder surgery. The Rangers also completed a $3.9 million, one-year contract with 41-year-old reliever Arthur Rhodes that includes a $4 million club option for 2012 that could become guaranteed.

    With the acquisition of Beltre, there is no need to bring DH Vladimir Guerrero back after he hit .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs in his only season with the Rangers. Texas had been in discussions with Guerrero this offseason, but Daniels said those have now ended.

    Beltre, who will turn 32 the first week of the regular season, is a .275 hitter in 1,835 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1998-04), Seattle (2005-09) and Boston.

    Los Angeles signed Beltre 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.

    Washington said he is already looking forward to filling out his lineup card on opening day April 1, when the Rangers open the season against Beltre's last team, the Red Sox.

    Beltre described his time in Boston as a "good experience" and said it was a fun place to play.

    AP sports writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.