The trade deadline — the non-waiver trade deadline — passed Monday, but it didn’t pass the Texas Rangers by.
Gone are Yu Darvish, arguably the staff ace, and catcher Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Jeremy Jeffress, who were acquired a year ago Monday at the 2016 non-waiver deadline.
But the trades can still be made in the major leagues, all the way through the end of the season, though the rules have changed. Players must clear revocable waivers if a team wants to trade a player to any club, or work out a trade if a club were to claim a player.
For a player to be eligible for his new team’s postseason, he must be acquired by Aug. 31.
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That’s significant because the Rangers might not be done dealing. They still have some players who could help a contender, a status that they continue to hold but more tenuously after a busy Monday that included another loss.
Adrian Beltre, for instance, could help a contender, and winning a World Series is all Beltre has wanted since joining the Rangers in 2011.
Not 3,000 hits, which he achieved Sunday. Not 500 homers, which isn’t out of the question.
A World Series, which he could capture this season with a trade to a sure-fire contender.
“I would stop and think about it,” Beltre said Tuesday, before a mistake-filled 8-7 loss to the Seattle Mariners. “It would depend on which contender. I’d see who the team is, talk to the family and make a decision.”
The Texas Rangers made multiple mistakes Tuesday in an 8-7 loss to the Seattle Mariners, manager Jeff Banister said (video by Jeff Wilson).
Beltre isn’t seeking to be traded, nor have the Rangers given any indication that they would trade him. He has a no-trade clause and would have the right to refuse any proposal.
With another year at $18 million left on his contract, a team might balk or ask the Rangers to send money in a trade.
But a year of control might also make Beltre more attractive to a contender. He’s still playing at an elite level, and there are clubs in contention that could use a premium third baseman.
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“But the thing is, too, it’s a sensitive conversation because as of right now I don’t see myself with anyone else,” Beltre said. “I’ve been here seven years, and it’s been nothing but great to me. I love being here.
“Even if I’m going to go to a contender, that doesn’t mean I’m going to go to a World Series.”
The Rangers, for instance, had the best record in the American League last season but were swept in the division round. Even the Los Angeles Dodgers — who appear to be unbeatable with Darvish, Clayton Kershaw (who is expected back from injury), all that offense and an upgraded bullpen — could very well fail to reach the World Series.
“That’s why it would have to be a perfect scenario for me,” he said.
Besides, Beltre still believes that the Rangers are a contender for a wild-card spot and believes they can be a contender in 2018 with the right additions to a rotation that could have three vacancies to fill.
But a full infield returns, with Beltre, shortstop Elvis Andrus, second baseman Rougned Odor and third baseman Joey Gallo. Robinson Chirinos will be back at catcher. Shin-Soo Choo, Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields could form the outfield.
Those players were good enough to help capture back-to-back West crowns.
Brett Nicholas, who made his major league debut in 2016, will backup catcher Robinson Chirinos the rest of the season.
“This team right now, I believe this team can still compete and win this year,” he said. “And if we get Joey an extra year of experience and get the bullpen an extra year of experience and the guys that have had an off year have a better year next year, we’re talking about a good team. It’s not like we’re rebuilding.”
And it’s not like Beltre is asking to be traded, nor have the Rangers given any indication that they would do so.
Beltre, though, isn’t playing for milestones. He wants a World Series ring.
“If I don’t see any chance of me winning here, I’d have to think about it and make a decision on it,” he said.
Rangers vs. Mariners
7:05 p.m. Wednesday, FSSW