SURPRISE (105.3 The Fan) – Many players remain without homes as spring training camps open across Arizona and Florida, and Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is fully aware of it.
Beltre arrived in Surprise on Monday and spoke with media members for the first time since the end of last season about the club’s roster heading into the season.
“There’s a lot of free agents out there,” Beltre said while mentioning free agents Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb and J.D. Martinez as guys that remain on the open market. “That’s the idea. I think every player here would like that. Obviously, we’d like to have the best team on paper that we could have,” Beltre added when asked if he hoped the Rangers would stay busy.
Beltre, who is heading into the final year of his contract, said he isn’t unhappy with the club’s roster but would have done some things differently.
“I’m not unhappy, obviously. I’m going to go with whatever we have and we do have a really good team,” Beltre said, courtesy of Levi Weaver of The Athletic. “We can be better especially with the free agents out there that are still not signed.
There is no doubt that I would like to have the best chance to win. That being said, if it was my option, I would like to add more people to make the roster even stronger … But there’s no doubt that what we have here is good enough to compete and see what happens.”
The roster’s biggest question mark remains with the starting rotation and what it will look like on opening day.
Cole Hamels is a lock for the rotation, while Matt Moore and Doug Fister appear to be locks barring unforeseen circumstances. Martin Perez is a lock when healthy and is ahead of schedule in his recovery from offseason elbow surgery. That leaves one and possibly two spots (if Texas goes with a six-man rotation).
Mike Minor would certainly be considered a lock after Texas signed him to a three-year deal this offseason to re-convert to a starting pitcher after a successful stint at the back of the Kansas City Royals bullpen. After the club’s deal with former St. Louis Cardinals closer Seung-hwan Oh fell apart, might they decide to reverse course and move Minor back to the bullpen?
Falling in line after those five are Matt Bush, who expects to be in the rotation after attempting to convert from a reliever to a starter this offseason, and veterans Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese.
When asked what his thoughts were on the team’s rotation, Beltre said no club can have enough pitching.
“It doesn’t matter who you have. You can always have more,” the third baseman said via the Fort Worth Star Telegram’s video. “You don’t know how injuries are going to be. You don’t know how the season’s gonna go. So, yes, we need pitching.”