Texas Rangers rumors: Carlos Beltran was one of the Rangers key trade-deadline acquisitions in 2016, with the club parting with 2015 #4 overall pick Dillon Tate to land the switch hitting DH, and while he hit the free agent market at the end of the season, it seemed like he was a good fit for the club in 2017, and could be brought back.
However, Jon Heyman writes, in a piece looking at the wide net that the Yankees are casting this offseason, that the Rangers are “believed to be less involved” in the pursuit of Beltran. The Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Astros are all, according to Heyman, in on Beltran, and would be in a position to make him their regular DH while giving him the chance to play for a contender (though that term may be questioned as it relates to the Yankees).
Beltran is probably best suited for DH right now, and the Rangers could well be in a situation where they view Shin-Soo Choo as destined for primarily DH duties at this point in his career. Choo has been generally pretty poor in the outfield defensively since joining the Rangers, and been plagued with injuries, so the team may feel like their best shot at getting some value out of the $82 million they’ll be paying Choo over the next four years is to ask him to just hit, and hope he stays healthy. You could add Beltran on a one year deal and have Choo and Beltran share the right field and DH duties, but that would mean keeping Nomar Mazara in left field, when he’s probably better suited to right.
That would leave the Rangers needing to find a center fielder, and perhaps a left fielder, and also maybe a first baseman...there are various internal options at each position, but realistically, Texas is going to likely need to add a couple of position players to fill those spots, rather than hope that Delino DeShields, Ryan Rua and Joey Gallo are all ready for full-time roles in 2017.