Texas Rangers rumors: Adrian Beltre is entering the fifth year of a 5 year, $80 million deal that includes a sixth year vesting option for 2016 worth $16 million (or else it is a six year, $96 million contract where the final year is voidable, depending on your point of view).
Adrian Beltre had quotes about wanting his future to be in Texas, albeit so long as they are going to be competitive:
Adrian Beltre has arrived to camp and says #Rangers are the last team he wants to play for. Also wants to win, so "you never know."— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) February 22, 2015
Adrian Beltre in camp early...wants to stay with Rangers as long as they continue to try to win...not if they ever go in rebuilding mode— TR Sullivan (@Sullivan_Ranger) February 22, 2015
Jon Daniels, meanwhile, doesn't want Beltre going anywhere either:
Rangers GM Jon Daniels said club will address Adrian Beltre option for 2016 in near future and doesn't think it will be an issue.— Anthony Andro (@aandro) February 22, 2015
Jon Daniels says he doesn't want Adrian Beltre's option to be an on-going storyline this season and #Rangers could remedy that soon.— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) February 22, 2015
Rangers GM Jon Daniels: We would like Adrian to finish his career as a Ranger.— Anthony Andro (@aandro) February 22, 2015
I've been of the opinion for a while that the 2016 option was going to be a non-issue for Beltre and the Rangers...it is hard to imagine a scenario in 2015 where the Rangers would NOT want Beltre back in 2016 at $16 million. As great as Beltre has been on the field for Texas, the front office appears to put a great deal of value on what Beltre brings off the field, as well. I tend to believe that when Joey Gallo and Jorge Alfaro and Nomar Mazara and Nick Williams and Lewis Brinson start arriving in the majors, that the Rangers are going to want Beltre here, providing them with an example to emulate while being someone with the stature to say something to them if there is something they are doing wrong.
So, if the Rangers want Beltre in 2016 and don't want his option to be an issue, why don't they simply announce the option has been picked up (or the voidable year removed)?
This is pure speculation on my part, but reading between the lines in what Beltre and Daniels are saying, I have to think the Rangers might be talking to Beltre (and his agent, Scott Boras) about an extension. This is Beltre's age 36 season, so you have to think that he's not got a lot of seasons left...but given how the Rangers value Beltre and what he means to the organization, it wouldn't surprise me if there were negotiations ongoing -- or at least efforts being made by Texas -- regarding an extension to keep Beltre here through 2017 or 2018.
I could be wrong, of course, and even if there are talks right now, it may be that Beltre isn't prepared to commit to Texas long-term until he sees how the 2015 season goes. I can understand why Beltre would be reluctant to lock himself in with a bad team at this stage in his career.
But it is something to keep an eye on in the coming days...