"At this stage of my career, I'm not here for a rebuild," Beltre said, according to the Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant. "But I don't think it will be. I think there is a possibility of this team playing better this year. I'm still focused on this year and don't want to think about it right now, but it would change things for me."
Beltre also admitted he was frustrated with the front office's decision to roll the dice on a Darvish deal since he thought the Rangers—who are 5.5 games back in the American League Wild Card race—still had a chance to make a run.
"We're not pleased with the trade," the third baseman added. "I don't think we are completely sold on the situation being [hopeless] for this year. It was a tough a situation. I know he's going to be a free agent and they were trying to get something. I try to understand the business side of it and I understand what they are doing, but the on the baseball side you are not happy. That doesn't matter. That's not going to change our mentality."
As Beltre acknowledged, trading Darvish isn't a surefire acknowledgment the Rangers are headed for a rebuild.
General manager Jon Daniels intimidated as much Monday when he said the Rangers were looking to capitalize on Darvish's expiring contract and bolster their prospect stockpile since the four-time All-Star is in a walk year:
Daniels reiterated Tuesday he doesn't view the move as an indication of a rebuild "at all," according to Grant.
That said, Texas still has loads of work to do before it's in position for a pennant again if the 2017 season has been any indication.
If the Rangers can't round into form by the 2018 trade deadline, it will be worth keeping tabs on Beltre's status since he'll then be in a contract year at the age of 39.