Potential Hall of Fame third baseman doesn't 'ever want to be a distraction'
By Anthony Andro
Special to MLB.com |
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers ended any speculation about Adrian Beltre's contract being a distraction before the 2015 season when they picked up his option for '16 during Spring Training.
That's not going to be the case this year, as Beltre prepares for the final year of a deal he signed with Texas before the 2011 season.
Though Rangers general manager Jon Daniels went on record saying he wanted to extend Beltre beyond 2016, nothing has come of it as the third baseman prepares for his sixth Opening Day with the club.
Beltre made it clear Sunday that contract talk won't be an issue for him as Texas tries to repeat as American League West champions.
"I'm not negotiating," Beltre said. "I told [the Rangers] that. It's not fair for my teammates. I don't ever want to be a distraction. We were supposed to hear back from ownership two weeks ago, but we never heard back."
Beltre signed a five-year, $80 million contract with the Rangers that included an option for this season. The two sides had preliminary talks about a new deal, with Scott Boras, Beltre's agent, submitting a contract-extension proposal two weeks ago.
Daniels said Saturday that extension talks between the two sides haven't been tabled and that he hoped to talk with Boras again soon. Beltre said it's impossible to determine whether or not he'd talk about a new deal once the season starts because there's no deal on the table.
"It's not a negotiation, so it's a yes or no," Beltre said. "If they come back and do that, maybe I have the option of saying yes or no. But I don't have that option. I'm not their priority right now. They're busy doing whatever. They don't have to do anything. I understand that, but I thought that by now I'd have the option to say no to something or say yes."
Beltre, who turns 37 on Thursday, is coming off a productive 2015 season despite playing the final three months with a torn ligament in his left thumb. Despite the injury, which required surgery immediately after the season ended, he hit .287 with 18 home runs and 83 RBIs. He finished seventh in the AL Most Valuable Player Award voting. Beltre also moved into second all time in games played at third base last season.
Anthony Andro is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.