Texas Rangers third baseman Adrián Beltré is no stranger to injuries. He’s dealt with numerous ailments over his career, including a gruesome testicle injury.
More often than not, he’s played through them. Beltré’s only season with fewer than 100 games played came in 2017.
This year has been better, but Beltré has still battled hamstring issues all year. After his latest bout with a sore hamstring, Beltré admitted to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he’s been thinking more about his future.
Asked if this injury impacted his career perspective, Beltre said: “Yes.”
“You want me to elaborate on that?” Beltre said, smiling. “That brings the question of, ‘Is this going to keep happening more often? Is it worth it to fight it back? Is it a sign that maybe it’s time to get close to say goodbye to you guys?’”
That last quote is particularly revealing. Beltré openly wonders whether “it’s time to get close to say goodbye to you guys.”
Adrián Beltré hasn’t discussed his retirement yet
The 39-year-old Beltré’s career is winding down, but he hasn’t announced any retirement plans just yet. His contract is up at the end of the 2018, making him a free-agent this winter. Beltré will turn 40 in April. That age might scare some teams off, but Beltré turned in a fantastic season in 2017, so there may still be some production left in his bat if he decides to keep playing.
Perhaps that will depend on how the rest of the season goes. Beltré’s latest hamstring injury isn’t expected to keep him out too long. If he able to return and perform well down the stretch, he could stick around another season. If he struggles to get back, that could also influence his decision.
Adrián Beltré making a case for the Hall of Fame
Whenever Beltré decides to hang it up, he’ll make for an interesting Hall of Fame debate. Beltré was considered a borderline case a few years ago, but has only strengthened his argument for enshrinement in recent seasons. By JAWS — a Hall of Fame metric created by Jay Jaffe — Beltré’s 72.2 score makes him an easy pick for the Hall of Fame. The average Hall of Fame third baseman has a 55.7 JAWS score.
After some average offensive seasons early in his career, Beltré only got better with age. He’s hit .304/.354/.501, with 227 home runs, during his thirties. On top of that, he was far and away the best defensive third baseman of his era, and one of the best defenders all-time at the position.
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