Beltre, Rangers happy to extend partnership

Veteran's 2-year extension was no-brainer for club despite his age

Beltre, Rangers happy to extend partnership

ARLINGTON -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre is 37, but the Rangers had little concern about extending him for two more years through 2018.

"We have made a lot of decisions over the years, and this is probably one of the easiest ones," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said in announcing the extension on Saturday. "There has been a lot said about Adrian's accomplishments, his numbers and his Hall of Fame credentials. But what we were focused on is he is one of the best players in the game -- offensively, defensively, leadership, the whole deal.

"That's what this is about. He is the right fit for our roster and the right fit for our organization. We wanted to make sure that's something that continues."

Justice: Simply, Rangers can't envision team without Beltre

Beltre agreed to a two-year, $36 million contract on Friday that prevents him from becoming a free agent at the end of the season. He is currently in his 19th season and is second among active players with 2,579 games played.

"I feel like I am 25," Beltre said. "Age is just a number. I'm still playing like I thought I would. There is no doubt the motivation is there. The motivation to win is always there. The challenge to beat the team is always there. If that's not there, I might contemplate retirement, but I still feel great."

Daniels and agent Scott Boras had been discussing Beltre's situation during Spring Training. There was some hollow rhetoric about not wanting to negotiate during the season or let this carry on past Opening Day, but there was too much motivation on both sides to get something done.

They were able to announce a deal before Game 13.

"The reason it took so long is I wanted Giancarlo Stanton money -- 13 years and $400 million," Beltre said. "J.D. didn't want to do that, so we settled for two."

Beltre's career has reached a point where induction into the Hall of Fame appears to be inevitable. He currently sits 49th all-time with 415 home runs, 51st with 2,780 hits and 56th with 1,476 RBIs. If he stays healthy through this season and two more, his career offensive numbers will rank right up there with the best ever to play the game. His four Gold Glove Awards also speak to his defensive ability.

Beltre's three-run homer

However, for Beltre and the Rangers, it's not about padding a resume.

It's about a player who still has a burning desire to win a World Series and an organization that believes he can be an integral part of that.

"Since I have been here, this team has competed every year and had a chance to win the World Series," Beltre said. "We have been close, [everybody] knows how close we came. When I got here [in 2011]), J.D. promised me a chance to win. So far, we have had that chance.

"I feel comfortable with my teammates, coaches, manager and front office. The city has been great and the fans have been supportive. It was easy to get something done and be here."

Justice on Beltre's extension

Manager Jeff Banister said Beltre has the "largest impact" of any player in the clubhouse.

"Everyone refers to him as the captain, and it's the truth," Banister said. "It makes it easier for me every day to walk into the clubhouse and know Adrian is there. Last year, we viewed the toughness that Adrian plays with. He is the toughest player I've ever seen. He is the epitome of grit and resilience.

"You look at a player and you see what they can do to elevate a team and make their teammates better. He exudes that every single day."

The Rangers still have a top third-base prospect in Joey Gallo, but it appears likely that he'll have to learn a new position over the next few years.

"No change … this is about locking up one of the best players in the game," Daniels said. "Joey has a ton of talent and a ton of ability. He has played the outfield and played first base. Those may be options down the line. We're not making that decision today."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.