Adrian Beltre didn't mince words Sunday after the Texas Rangers were swept out of Oakland and saw their playoff hopes all but disappear (video by Jeff Wilson). Jeff Wilson jwilson@star-telegram.com
Adrian Beltre didn't mince words Sunday after the Texas Rangers were swept out of Oakland and saw their playoff hopes all but disappear (video by Jeff Wilson). Jeff Wilson jwilson@star-telegram.com

Texas Rangers

Beltre to closely watch Rangers’ off-season plans

September 27, 2017 02:49 PM

UPDATED September 27, 2017 07:51 PM

ARLINGTON

The day after the Texas Rangers were eliminated from postseason contention looked like this:

No Adrian Beltre.

No Carlos Gomez.

No Robinson Chirinos.

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No reason for them Wednesday, in the series finale against the Houston Astros, a 12-2 defeat, or for the rest of the season.

Their gimpy parts are no longer needed. There’s no reward for the risk.

It’s time to heal, so that they can have a full off-season to get ready for another swing at the World Series in 2018. The Rangers have been swept in consecutive three-game series and are assured of finishing below .500. It’s time for the young players on the roster to get big-league at-bats, even if they only amass 20 of them over the final five games, now four, of the season.

These are the things that happen when a team runs out of chances. In Beltre’s case, he doesn’t have many more chances and will remind general manager Jon Daniels of that before heading home.

He wants to come back, back to a winner, for the final year of his contract and perhaps the final year of his career. But if the Rangers start to rebuild, he might be torn between returning to a place he loves or asking the club to explore a trade to a contender.

He understands that he might have a decision to make.

“When the decision comes, I’ll sit around with my family and think about what I want to do,” Beltre said. “But it’s just like, I don’t want to leave a team that I’m pretty comfortable with and believe in my teammates, to go to a team that is not guaranteed.

“So, it’s something I have to sit around and think about with my family again, and search for something that I really want, but without guarantees. It’s a decision I can’t make now, because it’s too early, and I will see how that decision goes.”

As Beltre sees it, the core offensive group coming back for 2018 is solid, beginning with him and shortstop Elvis Andrus. Shin-Soo Choo and Nomar Mazara return, as do Rougned Odor and Joey Gallo.

Beltre is buoyed by that and the improvements that will come with another year of seasoning for Gallo and a bounce-back year for Odor. Mike Napoli, who also isn’t expected to play the rest of this season, and Gomez are free agents, as is right-hander Andrew Cashner.

The Rangers will have three rotation spots to fill.

“I always want the best team we can have,” Beltre said. “That’s me being selfish because I want to win, but you know how that goes. It’s not what we want. If that was the case, we’d have the best players we could have on this ballclub.

“But they have budgets. They have ideas that are different from our mindset as players, but I haven’t thought about that yet. They know what I want. It’s not a secret. In the next week or so I’ll have a conversation with JD to see what his thinking is and the mindset for next year. It’s too early now.”

Beltre knows how offseasons go. He didn’t sign his contract with the Rangers in 2011 until early January. He understands that it takes time for the free-agent market to develop, especially when a top Japanese player is on the market as is expected to be the case this winter with Shohei Ohtani.

So, Beltre isn’t necessarily looking for results but for a plan and a commitment to it.

He also knows that there is no guarantee of a World Series just by loading up a roster with talent, just as there are none with going to a team loaded with talent.

“I can’t sit here and say, ‘You know what? You need to put this together in two weeks,’ because that’s not fair to anyone,” Beltre said. “Even if you come out with wanting to have the best team on the market, it doesn’t always turn out that way. Just the fact that I want to know the idea they have to have a competitive team to win, that’s all I can ask.

“It all depends on how we produce and how we play. You want to have the best talent that you can to compete, but as of right now I do believe we have a good lineup. There’s always areas to improve. Always.”

If Beltre doesn’t play again this season, he will finish with a .311 average, 17 home runs and 71 RBIs despite appearing in only 93 games because of calf and recently another hamstring injury. He considered the season a disappointment because of the games he missed, even though he collected his 3,000th career hit and is 26th all time at 3,047.

He wants to continue to play, but he also knows that he needs a full offseason to get healthy for next season.

Chirinos said that he will undergo an MRI either Thursday or Friday to determine the extent of his left hamstring injury. He hopes to play again this season, as does Gomez on his sprained right ankle that Beltre said was “basicially broken.”

They played to get the Rangers into the postseason. Now that that’s not possible, there’s no reason for them to keep going.

“Do I want to play? I want to play,” Beltre said. “But is it smart? I don’t know if you want to run the risk of ending the season with a [more severe] injury.”

Mike Napoli assesses what could have been for the Rangers in 2017

Rangers first baseman Mike Napoli said each time the club got rolling it took a few steps backward and could never get the pitching and hitting going at the same time.

Stefan Stevenson sstevenson@star-telegram.com

Houston

200

117

100

12

16

0

Texas

010

010

000

2

8

1

Houston AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Springer rf

4

2

2

4

0

0

.287

Fisher ph-rf

1

0

0

0

0

0

.207

Bregman 3b-2b

5

0

2

1

0

0

.285

Altuve 2b

4

2

1

0

0

0

.347

Davis ph-3b

1

0

0

0

0

1

.228

Correa ss

5

2

4

4

0

1

.308

Gonzalez lf

4

0

1

1

0

0

.301

Moran ph-1b

1

0

0

0

0

0

.333

McCann c

3

2

1

0

1

1

.240

Stassi c

1

0

0

0

0

0

.182

Beltran dh

5

1

1

0

0

2

.230

Gurriel 1b

2

1

1

0

1

0

.297

White ph-1b-lf

2

0

0

0

0

0

.304

Kemp cf

5

2

3

2

0

0

.226

Totals 43

12

16

12

2

5

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

DeShields cf

4

0

2

0

0

1

.274

Choo dh

4

0

0

0

0

3

.260

Andrus ss

4

0

2

0

0

0

.299

Gosselin 2b

0

0

0

0

0

0

.128

Mazara rf

4

0

0

0

0

2

.251

Gallo 1b

4

0

0

0

0

2

.207

Odor 2b

3

0

0

0

0

2

.203

Middlebrooks 3b

1

0

1

0

0

0

.229

Calhoun lf

3

1

2

1

0

0

.158

Nicholas c

3

0

0

0

0

1

.280

Robinson 3b-2b-ss

3

1

1

1

0

1

.213

Totals 33

2

8

2

0

12

E—Odor (18). LOB—Houston 6, Texas 4. 2B—Bregman (38), Correa (24), Gurriel (41), Middlebrooks (2). HR—Correa (22), off Martinez; Springer (34), off Barnette; Correa (23), off Barnette; Calhoun (1), off Verlander; Robinson (6), off Verlander. RBIs—Springer 4 (85), Bregman (66), Correa 4 (81), Gonzalez (87), Kemp 2 (3), Calhoun (2), Robinson (12). Runners left in scoring position—Houston 3 (Gonzalez, Beltran, Davis); Texas 1 (Gallo). RISP—Houston 5 for 11; Texas 0 for 2. GIDP—Springer, Choo. DP—Houston 1 (Bregman, Correa, Moran); Texas 1 (Robinson, Odor, Gallo).

Houston

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Verlander, W, 15-8

6

6

2

2

0

11

110

3.36

Liriano

1

0

0

0

0

0

9

5.68

Gregerson

1

1

0

0

0

0

10

4.50

Sipp

1

1

0

0

0

1

12

5.84

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Martinez, L, 3-8

5

10

6

6

1

2

95

5.66

Barnette

 1/3

4

5

5

1

0

19

5.49

Bibens-Dirkx

1 2/3

2

1

1

0

1

35

4.67

Kela

1

0

0

0

0

1

12

2.87

Diekman

1

0

0

0

0

1

13

2.79

Martinez pitched to 2 batters in the 6th. Inherited runners-scored—Barnette 2-2. WP—Barnette. Umpires—Home, Chris Guccione; First, Dana DeMuth; Second, Paul Nauert; Third, Carlos Torres. T—3:17. A—26,053 (48,114).

Rangers vs. Athletics

7:05 p.m. Thursday, FSSW