The Rangers have yet to present Adrian Beltre with a firm contract offer, the third baseman himself tells Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. “We’ve still got nothing to say ’yes’ or ’no,’ to,” Beltre told Grant. “I would have thought that we’d have that by now. But I’m not worrying about it by any means.” Grant adds that Beltre does not want to continue back-and-forth negotiations into the season, but Beltre did add that he’d consider offers if it were a means of a mere “yes” or “no” to a proposal from the Rangers. Such a scenario could indeed play out, as MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweeted last night that talks between the Rangers and agent Scott Boras have been productive enough that they’ll continue into the regular season.
Beltre, who will turn 37 later this week, has reportedly been seeking a three-year deal that tops Pablo Sandoval’s $19MM average annual value, which would suggest a target of something along the lines of a three-year, $60MM contract. That’s a sizable commitment, considering any deal would kick in after this season, thus covering Beltre’s age-38 through age-40 seasons. However, based on his stellar production over the entirety of his first five seasons with Texas, it’s hard to argue that Beltre hasn’t earned a hefty payday. Since signing with the Rangers prior to the 2011 season, Beltre has batted .309/.358/.514, averaging 27 homers per season to go along with continually elite defense in spite of his advancing age. Even in a 2015 season that was marred by thumb and back injuries, Beltre slashed .287/.334/.453 with 18 home runs.
Of course, those injuries and Beltre’s age are the primary reasons that extending a three-year offer is such a risk-laden concept. Then again, if Beltre remains healthy this season and enjoys a typical season at the plate and in the field, Beltre should be able to land at least three years at a strong annual rate, even if it’s not from the Rangers. Set to be a free agent following the 2016 season, Beltre landed ninth on Tim Dierkes’ first installment of MLBTR’s 2016-17 free agent power rankings. It’s worth noting that in Grant’s column, he writes that GM Jon Daniels is open to the idea of making an in-season proposal, and considering Daniels’ previous comments about retaining Beltre beyond the 2016 campaign, it stands to reason that there’s a good chance some kind of offer will eventually be put forth. Whether that ultimately results in a new contract, though, is another matter.