Here’s the latest from the Lone Star State’s two MLB clubs…
- The Rangers’ decision to extend Adrian Beltre was “probably one of the easiest” of Jon Daniels’ tenure with the club, the GM told reporters (including T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com) yesterday during the official press conference to announce Beltre’s new two-year, $36MM contract. There was a great deal of speculation and, in fact, assumption that the two sides would work out a new deal this offseason, and Beltre joked that the negotiations weren’t settled until two weeks into the season since “I wanted Giancarlo Stanton money, 13 years and $400MM.”
- Keeping Beltre through the 2018 season won’t have any impact on top prospect Joey Gallo’s future with the Rangers, Daniels said, aside from a probable position shift. “Joey has a ton of talent and a ton of ability. He has played the outfield and played first base. Those may be options down the line. We’re not making that decision today,” Daniels said. Mitch Moreland is a free agent this winter, so first base could be Gallo’s best option given that Nomar Mazara and Shin-Soo Choo look to have the corner outfield spots spoken for in 2017 and beyond. It’s also not out of the question that Gallo could play around the diamond until Beltre’s extension is up, and then take over as the regular third baseman.
- Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram likes the Beltre extension for the Rangers, as Beltre is still producing at a high level despite just turning 37 years old. The $18MM average annual value is the cost of doing business, in terms of keeping Beltre off the open market and keeping his contract status from becoming a greater distraction throughout the rest of the year.
- Though the season is only two weeks old, the early returns on the Ken Giles trade aren’t great from the Astros’ perspective, CBSSports.com’s R.J. Anderson writes. Houston dealt a hefty package of prospects and young players to the Phillies for Giles and Jonathan Arauz in December, and one of those five players (Vincent Velasquez) has already emerged as an early star of the 2016 season. Giles, meanwhile, has a 9.64 ERA through 4 2/3 innings and has already allowed as many homers (three) as he did in the entire 2014-15 seasons combined. As Anderson notes, however, Giles has maintained his velocity and is actually striking batters out at a higher rate, so his early-season homer issues could simply be a fluke.
- In other Astros news from earlier today, Lance McCullers got through a throwing session with no problems.