You’d think that hitting .157 in 57 games as a 42-year-old and getting released by the Angels would signal the end of the line for Raul Ibanez, but instead he’s quickly found a new home and a major-league contact with the Royals.
Ibanez had a lot of success in Kansas City from 2001-2003 and it’s certainly worth noting that he smacked 29 homers last season, but he looked awfully washed up with the Angels and if this move was going to come from any general manager Dayton Moore would probably have been most people’s first guess.
Presumably the Royals will limit Ibanez’s playing time to occasional starts at designated hitter and some bench bat work, although with Moore and manager Ned Yost you never know.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.
Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.
Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.