Adrian Beltre is entering his walk year with the Rangers. It’s the last year of a six-year deal if you include the option year on which he’s currently playing. It was a five-year $80 million deal and the option for 2016 is $16 million.
Beltre has been a fantastic signing for Texas. In the past five years he’s hit .309/.358/.514 and has averaged 27 homers and 92 RBI a year. That, combined with his outstanding defense at third base, his durability (he’s averaged 146 games a year on this deal) and his status as a team leader had made him one of the better free agent signings in recent memory.
But Beltre is not done playing and Jon Heyman reports that he’s looking for a three-year extension worth $19 million a season, which is Pablo Sandoval money. Beltre is better then Sandoval, but he’s also turning 37 next month.
Do you commit to a guy like that for his age 40 season? Especially when, in his age 36 season, his offense took a clear step back? I suppose you do if Beltre is willing to negotiate during the year and shows that he’s still capable of being a superior hitter and fielder, but that’s going to be a hard call for Texas, I think.
Prince Fielder has been sent back to Dallas from Rangers camp in order to address chronic sleeping problems, the Rangers have announced. He’ll likely undergo a sleep study.
Better now than once the grind of the season starts. Sleep deprivation is no joke. And many sorts of sleep irregularities can be addressed with fairly straightforward fixes. It’s often a bigger hurdle to simply realize that you’re not sleeping as well as you need to and to deal with it rather than just brush it off or try to bull through it.
Fielder will be counted on to continue the rebound he showed last year when he hit .305/.378/.463 with 23 homers.
Skip Schumaker has been in Padres camp this spring. And he’s been getting good reviews with respect to how he’s fit in and how he’s commanded the respect of Padres players and coaches. Ultimately, though, playing is what matters and Schumaker has apparently decided that playing is not something he wants to do anymore: the Padres just announced he has retired.
Schumaker had an 11-year big league career between the Cardinals, Dodgers and Reds, splitting time between the outfield and second base. He played 1,149 games and put up a line of .278/.337/.364 with 28 homers and 284 RBI. He played in the playoffs in four different seasons — three with St. Louis, one with the Dodgers — and got a World Series ring in 2011 (He may have gotten one in 2006 too, but he wasn’t a major part of that club). His postseason highlight was probably going 6-for-10 with two doubles and three driven in in the 2011 NLDS against the Phillies.
Maybe that good fitting in and leadership stuff from this spring showed Schumaker that he would make a good coach or front office assistant. If that’s where his baseball journey goes next, this spring may very well have been more productive for him than he figured it would be.
Good luck, Skip.