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Beltre expects multiple suitors if he returns

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

Adrian Beltre has not yet revealed whether he is planning to play in 2019 or retire after 21 seasons.

But if the 39-year-old third baseman does decide to return, his agent, Scott Boras, said Beltre will have far more options than just the Rangers.

Adrian Beltre has not yet revealed whether he is planning to play in 2019 or retire after 21 seasons.

But if the 39-year-old third baseman does decide to return, his agent, Scott Boras, said Beltre will have far more options than just the Rangers.

"We think he is a Major Leaguer who will perform at well-above-average Major League levels," Boras said Wednesday at the GM Meetings in Carlsbad, Calif. "That means teams are interested in him. His leadership dynamic is documented and extraordinary. We fully expect Major League teams to reach out to him, and I am going to leave it up to Adrian as to whether he directs me to advance on those or not advance. He has not made that decision yet."

Beltre, with a strong desire to be with his family, ended this past season saying that he was undecided about what he will do next year. He became a free agent after the World Series, and the Rangers did not extend him a qualifying offer.

They do have interest in re-signing him, and general manager Jon Daniels has spoken to Beltre since the end of the season. But there are still many questions to be answered beyond just Beltre's resolve to play one more year.

The Rangers have yet to detail for Beltre what their plan is for next season and what his role would be. Beltre is one of the greatest third basemen in Major League history, but he is also 39 years old and has been on the disabled list four times in the past two seasons because of leg injuries.

The Rangers also lost 95 games in 2018 and are in a rebuilding mode that does not promise any quick fixes. Beltre has great loyalty to the Rangers and their fans, but his primary motivation for continuing to play would be the chance at a World Series title.

Video: TEX@SEA: Beltre passes Thomas on RBI list with double

He has 477 career home runs, but the idea of returning so that he can reach 500 is not part of the deliberations. Beltre, who has 3,166 career hits and countless other accolades, has already established substantial Hall of Fame credentials.

"It is what's best for him and what's best for the team," Daniels said. "The ability to DH some, that's up for discussion. Sometimes you see, not only in baseball but other sports, you see a star player hold on for whatever reason, a milestone. … I don't view that with Adrian at all. If he is back playing with us or otherwise, it is not going to be for posterity. I don't think Adrian would do that at all. I don't think he has to. From a straight talent standpoint, he still holds his own."

Daniels also acknowledged the possibility Beltre could play for another team and would not hold that against him.

"No, not at all," Daniels said. "That is his right. He is a free agent. More than just a free agent. I get it. It's hard for me to sit here and say otherwise. One, we haven't put anything in front of him. We would outline that to him, first and foremost. Secondly, as a competitor and a guy who wants to win, I get that piece."

Beltre played in 119 games for the Rangers this past season and hit .273 with 15 home runs and 65 RBIs over 433 at-bats. He had a .328 on-base percentage and a .434 slugging percentage.

He also finished strong over 24 games in September with a .279 batting average, .323 on-base percentage and .651 slugging percentage to go with eight home runs and 18 RBIs.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Adrian Beltre