Foul Territory

March 13, 2014

Though out of options, Rangers’ Engel Beltre has options

The outfielder isn’t worried about what could happen at the end of spring training.

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Engel Beltre knows what he might be facing at the end of spring camp — life with another organization.

The outfielder can’t be optioned to the minor leagues this season without first having to clear waivers, so if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, he will be exposed to the other 29 teams.

The Rangers could deal him, though there have been no serious trade talks at this point in the spring. He could also sneak through waivers and be outrighted to Triple A Round Rock.

His agent, Scott Boras, has told him of all the possibilities. The Rangers went through the same thing last year with another Boras client, Julio Borbon, and he was lost to the Chicago Cubs on an early-season waiver claim.

Beltre isn’t sweating anything out yet.

“The future is that this is the beginning of my big-league career,” said Beltre, who played for the Dominican Winter League champions, Licey, in the off-season. “I’m just trying to take this opportunity and do my job.”

Beltre is a defensive whiz at all three outfield spots, a left-handed hitter and a speedster. But he’s also competing with the promising Michael Choice to be the Rangers’ fourth outfielder.

“Engel probably doesn’t fit the roster perfectly,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “But there’s certainly a feel to preserve our depth and to hold onto him as long as we can and see what happens.”

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