After five seasons of nine-figure salaries from the Mariners, Beltre is coming to the Red Sox on short money: a one-year, $9 million deal for 2010, with his choice to stick around in 2011 for even less money, $5 million, or take a $1 million buyout. The guaranteed money totals $10 million, less than the $12.8 million he averaged while in Seattle, and less than he would have gotten had he accepted the Mariners’ offer of salary arbitration.Last month, agent Scott Boras likened Beltre in value to Jason Bay, who signed with the Mets for a package that could be worth $80 million; Beltre did indeed get Jason-like money: Jason Varitek, another Boras client who turned down salary arbitration a year ago with the Sox and wound up working for considerably less.Signing Beltre is a steal for the Red Sox, and with the number of teams looking for a third baseman — the Orioles, Angels, Athletics, Giants and Twins, to name a few — it’s startling that no one else was willing to cough up a few more bucks than the Sox did. Shoot, if he hadn’t come as cheap as he did, the Sox were prepared to start the 2010 season with Kevin Youkilis at third and Casey Kotchman at first.Beltre was not Theo Epstein’s Plan A. Neither was David Ortiz when the Sox brought him aboard as a nontendered part-timer in 2003. Beltre’s detractors point to what a bust he was in Safeco Field; his supporters say that if you check Beltre’s road performance with Seattle (.277/.326/.472/.798), he compares favorably to Lowell on the road while with the Red Sox (.288/.341/.453/.793).Overall I believe this is a great move for the Boston Red Sox he will fit in perfectly right behind David Ortiz.

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