Whether the Rangers decide to push for a playoff spot in 2018 or rebuild could determine third baseman Adrian Beltre’s future with the team, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes. Beltre has a full no-trade clause, but he’d be open to waiving it in 2018 – the final year of his contract – if the Rangers don’t aim to contend next season. The 38-year-old future Hall of Famer will meet with general manager Jon Daniels to find out the franchise’s plans, though Grant suggests that the Rangers will indeed try to bounce back in 2018 (perhaps by signing Shohei Otani). “My choice is I don’t want to be anywhere else,” Beltre said. “They know what I want. I want us to have the best team we can have. Yes, I want to win.” While this was an injury-marred season for Beltre, his excellent production continued – he slashed .311/.382/.533 and accounted for 3.6 rWAR/3.1 fWAR in just 387 plate appearances.
More from the American League:
- The Royals and newly minted closer Mike Minor are interested in continuing their union in 2018, but they’ll have to work out a new contract, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com suggests. While Minor and the Royals have a $10MM mutual option for next season, the team will buy him out for $1.25MM, per Flanagan. A former starter, Minor has returned from back-to-back seasons lost to injury this year to toss 75 2/3 innings out of the Royals’ bullpen and log sterling numbers (2.64 ERA, 10.11 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9), owing in part to improved velocity.
- On Wednesday, the Twins became the final American League team to clinch a playoff spot. Here’s more good news for Minnesota: Third baseman Miguel Sano, out since Aug. 19 with a stress reaction to his left shin, is making progress in his recovery. The slugger took 60 swings Wednesday and could do the same Thursday, with chief baseball officer Derek Falvey noting that Sano’s “in a better spot now,” Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports. While Sano probably won’t be active for the Twins’ wild-card game against either the Yankees or Red Sox, he could be a factor if the club advances to the ALDS, per Bollinger. The Twins have gone 21-16 since Sano’s injury, even though his absence has deprived them of a hitter who recorded a terrific .267/.356/.514 line with 28 home runs in 475 trips to the plate.
- The AL-leading Indians, meanwhile, may see a notable reinforcement of their own come back in time for the playoffs. They’re targeting a weekend return for outfielder Michael Brantley, manager Terry Francona told William Kosileski of MLB.com and other reporters Wednesday. If Brantley fares well in his first action since suffering a right ankle sprain, one that has sidelined him since Aug. 8, he seems likely to make the Tribe’s ALDS roster. “We’re trying to give him every chance possible so we can make a good decision,” Francona said. “He’ll be included in that.”