The Texas Rangers picked up the 2016 option on third baseman Adrian Beltre's contract on Monday, a widely expected move that assures Beltre of returning next season even if he does not make 586 plate appearances in 2015, a previously stated threshold in his contract.
Beltre, who will turn 36 in April, signed a six-year, $96 million contract with the Rangers before the 2011 season after his first career All-Star appearance with the Boston Red Sox. Had they not picked up the 2016 option, the Rangers would have been able to void the final year of Beltre's contract if he failed to get 1,200 plate appearances in 2014-15 or 600 in 2015. In 148 games last season, Beltre had 614 plate appearances.
"It was really a no-brainer for us," general manager Jon Daniels said, according to MLB.com. "He is one of the best players in the game, a team leader and a future Hall of Famer. We didn't want it to be a story this season."
Beltre returned to All-Star form in 2014, hitting .324 with 19 home runs, 77 RBI and a .492 slugging percentage. For his career, Beltre is a four-time All-Star with a .285 career batting average, 395 home runs, 1,384 RBIs and a .479 slugging percentage.
The Rangers finished 67-95 in 2014, missing the playoffs for the second straight season.
- Mike Fiammetta