This year in Spring Training, Mariners pitcher and 2011 No. 2 overall draft pick Danny Hultzen will make the transition to pitching in relief, Ryan Divish notes for Baseball America (subscription only). It’s been a long fall for Hultzen, who was outrighted in November after his career was derailed by shoulder issues. Hultzen has pitched only 43 2/3 innings in the last three seasons. “Anybody in the league is making that same pick,” says GM Jerry Dipoto, who wasn’t in the organization when the Mariners selected Hultzen. “It’s unfortunate that it has worked out the way it has. But as I said to Danny on the phone when I told him we were removing him from the roster—I want to see him pitch in the big leagues.” Here’s more from the AL West.
- Adrian Beltre, who is eligible for free agency next winter, sees no reason why he wouldn’t consider an extension with the Rangers, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes. Sullivan further notes that Beltre and the Rangers have had preliminary conversations. “[GM Jon Daniels] did what he promised in keeping the team around to win,” Beltre says. “Right now I’m confident with the way everything is going, there is no reason why I don’t want to stay here.” The Rangers have had a quiet offseason, with Tom Wilhelmsen, Tony Barnette and Justin Ruggiano among their key acquisitions. (They also re-signed Colby Lewis to bolster their rotation.) Obviously, though, their in-season addition of Cole Hamels, and subsequent division win, might have some impact on Beltre’s thinking. Beltre will be 37 near the start of the 2016 season, and he took a step back offensively last year, although his still-excellent defense continues to make him an impact player.
- The Rangers could effectively add another player this season in Jurickson Profar. Profar is throwing 135 feet expects to be 100% by mid-March, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets. The former top infield prospect missed the entire 2015 season due to shoulder trouble, although he hit well in the Arizona Fall League after the season.
- The Astros might have another move or two up their sleeves this offseason, Jon Heyman tweets. They were in on Justin Upton and have checked in on starting pitching, and owner Jim Crane tells Heyman the team has been “nosing around” for more talent. Lately, they’ve been connected to Yovani Gallardo, the top starting pitcher left on the free agent market.