Report: Beltre, Rangers nearing agreement

Report: Beltre, Rangers nearing agreement

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer(AP) -- All-Star third baseman Adrian Beltre and the AL champion Texas Rangers are nearing agreement on a contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press on Tuesday.The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an agreement with Texas had not been completed."We've still got some central issues to resolve. Not done yet," the person said, without getting into specifics.Beltre became a free agent after turning down a 10 million player option to stay with Boston.A two-time Gold Glove winner, Beltre hit .321 with 49 doubles, 28 homers and 102 RBIs in 154 games in his only season with Red Sox. He was an All-Star for the first time in his 13-season career.The Rangers were spurned in their attempt this offseason to keep Cliff Lee, even after offering the ace left-hander 138 million over six years. Lee instead returned to Philadelphia.Beltre, who will turn 32 the first week of the regular season, is a .275 hitter in 1,835 career games for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1998-04), Seattle (2005-09) and Boston.Los Angeles signed Beltre as a 15-year-old in 1994, and he made his major league debut with the Dodgers four years later. After hitting .334 with 48 homers and 121 RBIs in his final season with the Dodgers in 2004, Beltre went to the Mariners.The acquisition of Beltre would mean yet another position switch for Rangers career hits leader Michael Young, the team's longest tenured player going into his 11th season.Young this week publicly expressed his willingness to switch again if Texas got Beltre. Young, who has three years left on his contract, could become a primary designated hitter also playing a utility role.Young was a second baseman when he became a starter for Texas in 2001, then switched to shortstop after Alex Rodriguez was traded in the spring of 2004. The Rangers moved Young to third base two years ago when they decided to promote rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus from Double-A.AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.

Red Sox can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

Red Sox can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

The appearance of Tampa Bay Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough almost got the Boston Red Sox back in their spring training exhibition game. The Sox managed to score all three of their runs against the 25-year-old in their 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida on Sunday.

But the Rays, who scored runs in five different innings, managed to widen their lead in the eighth inning by beating up on Sox lefty Luis Isla, a 24-year-old who spent last season with Portland and Pawtucket. In the eighth, Rays' Joe McCarthy homered and Luke Maile managed an RBI single, which cappped off the scoring in the contest. Sox starter Hector Velazquez allowed three hits and an earned run in his two innnings. The 28-year-old, who spent 2016 in the Mexican League, still managed to amass four strikeouts.

"I was a little nervous at the start, being in the United States for the first time and playing for a big league club for the first time," Velazquez told RedSox.com through an interpreter. "But once I got the first out, all the nerves went away, and I was able to bear down."

Despite allowing two homers, Boston pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

With the exception of the Sox' inning against Yarbrough, Boston's veterans and prospects struggled mighltily against the Rays pitching staff. Chris Archer started for Tampa, and set the tone in the first two innings, where he threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed one hit and no runs. Andrew Benintendi (0-for-3), Sam Travis (0-for-2) and Bryce Brentz (0-for-3) went hitless on the day. Travis, however, reached base on balls.

"I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said, via the Red Sox' team website. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."

Marco Hernandez's triple got the Sox' eighth-inning off to a strong start, and singles from Matt Dominguez, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo and Cole Sturgeon followed. The Sox' eighth inning scoring ended after Castillo got thrown out by left fielder McCarthy at third. Six Red Sox finished with one-hit outings, including Brock Holt and Blake Swihart.

The Sox will next host the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.