Beltre's contract among issues leaving camp

Hamilton looking at mid-May return; Chirinos is still starting catcher

Beltre's contract among issues leaving camp

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers leave Arizona on Wednesday with the future of some players still in doubt. That group ranges from the short-term of catchers Chris Gimenez and Michael McKenry to the long-term of Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland.

There are also multiple injury rehabilitation schedules to consider as the Rangers look at Josh Hamilton likely to return more in the middle of May than the beginning of the month.

Wrapping the last day of camp:
• The Rangers traded for catcher Bryan Holaday on Tuesday, but as the backup to Robinson Chirinos. Manager Jeff Banister said Chirinos is still the No. 1 catcher.

"It goes to Robinson [playing] in the range of 90-95 games when he's maxed out in his top years," Banister said. "It's a tough position. Both guys should have an opportunity to complement each other."

• The Rangers came to camp hoping to address a contract extension with third baseman Beltre. They have remained in communication with agent Scott Boras and kept negotiations quiet but, with four days left before Opening Day, Beltre remains unsigned beyond this season.

"Do I look worried," Beltre said. "If it happens, it happens, If it doesn't, it doesn't."

• First baseman Moreland can also be a free agent after the season although that gets overlooked because of Beltre. The Rangers haven't broached an extension with him this spring.

Moreland's sacrifice fly

"I don't feel any different than any other year in my career," Moreland said. "I'm ready to get it going."

• Hamilton, recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee, is taking batting practice and doing everything except running full speed. He will be in Arlington for Opening Day and then return to Arizona to continue his rehab. Hamilton said it's going well. The hope was to get him back by May 1, but it will be at least a couple of weeks beyond that.

"We have put together a schedule for his entire rehab that has him coming back after May 1," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "These schedules are always [flexible] seeing how he progresses, but it will be after May 1."

• Gimenez, the day after the Rangers acquired Holaday, continues to undergo treatment for an infection in his left leg. Until that goes away, the Rangers will not make a decision on his roster status.

The likely scenario is Gimenez will be put through outright waivers. If he is not claimed by another team, Gimenez will be assigned to Triple-A Round Rock. Gimemez has the right to refuse assignment and become a free agent, but the Rangers are hoping they can keep him.

• The Rangers will see if there is trade interest in left-hander Sam Freeman, who was designated for assignment on Tuesday. If not the club will put him through outright waivers and hope he clears so he can stay in the organization.

• McKenry has a slight abdominal strain. He will remain at extended spring training and could also end up at Round Rock. Since he was in camp on a Minor League contract and not added to the Opening Day roster, McKenry has the right to become a free agent. But he and the club are staying flexible until he is 100 percent healthy. He has indicated a willingness to play at Round Rock.

McKenry's sacrifice fly

• Banister has yet to announce who will be the fifth starter. A.J. Griffin is the obvious candidate, but left-hander Cesar Ramos and right-hander Phil Klein are still in camp.

"It's still not completely resolved," Banister said. "A.J. threw the ball well [Tuesday], but we still don't have an announcement. A.J. has a good opportunity to start in that fifth spot if we go that way."

Griffin fans Jackson in 4th

• Reliever Luke Jackson, who has been sidelined for most of Spring Training with a stress reaction in his lower back, was slated to throw in a Minor League game on Wednesday. He will remain in Arizona to pitch in extended spring training before going to Round Rock.

• First baseman Ike Davis, dealing with a mild sprain in his right knee, will remain in Arizona. He is not to the point where he can play in games. When he is, Davis will start with extended spring games.

Yu Darvish, recovering from Tommy John surgery, is still building up arm strength in his bullpen sessions and is not yet ready to face live hitters. But he is done in Arizona. Darvish will travel to Arlington and stay with the club while he continues his throwing program.

Ian Desmond did not play on Wednesday, but the Rangers leave camp convinced he has made a successful transition from shortstop to the outfield. Said Banister, "It's something we felt he would be able to do and all indicators are he is more than capable."

Desmond's outstanding defense

• Third-base coach Tony Beasley, who is dealing with rectal cancer, is scheduled for his final chemotherapy treatment on April 13. The next step will be an examination in Houston late next month to see his progress, but Beasley said, "I think this thing is doing well."

• It wasn't until the final day of camp that people noticed Seatlle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson did not make his annual one-day visit.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.