Rangers “still talking” to free agent Adrian Beltre

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A report on a Dominican Republic-based website this morning had the Rangers and Adrian Beltre agreeing to a six-year, $96 million contract.  That was later found to be incorrect by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, but the Rangers are indeed talking to the free agent third baseman, according to FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, and seem to be one of the few teams with legitimate interest in meeting his lofty price tag.

It’s a decent fit if the Rangers can find a taker for 34-year-old third baseman Michael Young.  Beltre proved last year in Boston that he has the ability produce gaudy power numbers when hitting in a small park and he would provide a major defensive upgrade at third base.

The Rangers’ Ballpark in Arlington saw the seventh-most homers in baseball last season and the sixth-most total runs.  Fenway Park, for reference, hosted the seventh-most total runs.

Texas should have some expendable cash remaining from their failed pursuit of left-hander Cliff Lee and it appears that their only competition to land Beltre comes from the Angels.

Beltre, 31, is thought to be seeking a five-year contract worth about $85 million.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.