ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre wants to stay healthy and help the last-place Texas Rangers finish strong in the last month of the season. Baseball’s active career hits leader isn’t saying if it will be the last few weeks of his Hall of Fame-caliber career.
“I’m not thinking about next year yet,” Beltre said Monday. “That’s going to be in the offseason.”
The 39-year-old third baseman has been bothered by hamstring issues throughout this season, his second year in a row going on the disabled list multiple times because of leg ailments. Beltre missed 28 games during two DL stints earlier this season, and has been primarily a designated hitter in the last month.
What is certain is that Beltre will finish this season, his 21st in the majors, with the Rangers after the deadline passed Friday for players to join other teams and be eligible for postseason play.
While Beltre’s only World Series appearance came in 2011, his first season with the Rangers, he has never been eager to leave Texas.
“I’ve been here eight years. Like I’ve said before, the only way it was going to happen — me going somewhere — is if it made sense for both parties: me and the team,” Beltre said. “Obviously, they understand that for me, it’s always been important to have a chance to win the World Series. If something comes up, let me know, if it makes sense for them and (me). Obviously, it didn’t make sense for both of us.”
Beltre and general manager Jon Daniels both acknowledged, without elaborating, that there was at least some discussion about a potential move last week.
“There was a situation last week that presented itself. We talked about it with Adrian,” Daniels said. “It wasn’t, for a number of reasons, it just wasn’t the right fit. Mutually kind of decided.”
Beltre went into Monday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels with 3,144 career hits and 470 home runs. He was the DH for the ninth time in his last 10 starts, but said he was “close to 100 percent” and expected to play third base on Tuesday.
A four-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove Award winner, Beltre has indicated that if he plays another season he wants to finish his career with the Rangers. This is the last year of his contract.
“He’s said he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next year, if he’s going to play or not, and if he wanted to push and push for the trade, we would’ve honored that,” Daniels said. “For him not to have done so says a lot, how he feels about his teammates and the fans in particular. That piece of it, I’m in awe of.”
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