Now that the Rangers have been eliminated from contention, they have shut down their third baseman, Adrian Beltre for the final weekend of the season.
It was a weird year for Beltre. He hit magnificently when he was in, posting a line of .311/.382/.533 with 17 homers and 71 RBI. He also picked up his 3,000th career hit. Still, Beltre called it his “most disappointing season” due to the injuries he has suffered. He started late due to an injured quad and missed a lot of time late with an injured hamstring. In all, he’s played only 93 games. The shutdown now is an acknowledgment that, even though he’s been active, he’s not been at 100%.
Next year will be the second year on a two-year contract extension Beltre signed and he’ll be paid $18 million. He’ll turn 39 in April. Whether or not he’ll remain with the Rangers after 2018 — or even if he’ll last the whole 2018 season with them — is up in the air. It mostly depends on whether the Rangers look to rebuild or if they’ll simply reload and try to compete again. At the moment the signs suggest the latter course, not the former. Either way, Beltre has 5/10 rights, meaning that he’d have to approve any trade.
Age gets all players eventually. At the moment, it seems to be getting to Beltre far less than most players with his mileage, at least in terms of his productivity when healthy. How much it impacts how often he can be on the field going forward will be what impacts what the Rangers and he decide his future will be most of all.