Engel Beltre will not travel with his Dominican winter-league team to the Caribbean World Series, as he's decided to skip it altogether.
But it's not as bad as it sounds. Beltre is hoping to rest up a bit before he hits spring training with the Texas Rangers in a few weeks as he's focused on making the club as a bench bat and an extra outfielder after a decent year as a part-timer with the Rangers last year.
The Dallas Morning News said that according to his club Licey's officials, Beltre is focused on spring training because he is out of minor-league options, which means the Rangers can't send him down to the minors but must instead release him if he isn't cut out for the big-league club.
Beltre went 10-for-40 with a double and two RBIs to go with a stolen base for the Rangers last year, also seeing time as a pinch runner (he scored seven runs) and as a defensive replacement. Beltre is fighting for a spot on the roster, likely to serve as a bench bat, backup outfielder and pinch-runner but there's competition for that spot with prospect Michael Choice, who still has plenty of minor-league options.