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Adolis Garcia's energy ignites Rangers spring training

SURPRISE, AZ — We're three days into spring training and you still can't wipe the smile off the face of Rangers Right Fielder Adolis Garcia. And, he has good reason to be in a good mood.

Texas Rangers Victory Parade
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 03: Adolis Garcia #53 of the Texas Rangers lifts the Commissioner's Trophy during the World Series Championship celebration at Globe Life Field on November 03, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. Sam Hodde / Getty Images

"I'm happy to be back in baseball. Everything is the same," Garcia told the media in his first clubhouse interview speaking exclusively in English. "Everything is the same. Same goal. Win and do the best for the team.'"

Eight years after defecting from Cuba and three years after he was unceremoniously designated for assignment by the Rangers, the soon to be 31-year-old Garcia has his first big contract. He avoided arbitration at the last moment, agreeing to a 2-year, $14 million contract that, with playing time and MVP voting incentives, can increase to over $20 million. He can't become a free agent for three more years, at age 34.

"I'm grateful," Adolis says, "I'm so happy."

Garcia not only hit 39 homers with 107 RBIs and was the American League Championship Series MVP last year, he's also the emotional heartbeat of this team.

"We do have a slow heart rate team," veteran outfielder Travis Jankowski said. "Guys like Corey Seager and Marcus Semien and Evan Carter play with a slow heart rate, staying on an even keel from game to game. Sometimes you need that guy who injects energy and emotion into what we do. Adolis is that for us."

"Yeah, I enjoy that," Garcia said. '"That's something that I like. My teammates believe in me. They trust me, and I just try to give that energy back."

Adolis energized this team the most when they needed it the most. In Games 6 and 7 of the ALCS in Houston, he slugged 3 home runs with 9 RBIs.

Garcia says his favorite moment from last postseason was when Seager hit the 9th inning, game-tying 2-run homer in Game One of the World Series.

Think about that. Adolis liked Seager's homer better than his own 11th inning walk-off home run to win that same game!

"When Corey tied the game, that was crazy!"

That selfless answer says a lot about Garcia and this team.

"We are family," Adolis said, "and I always say we are more friends now than teammates. That's why this is so special."

There's something else special about Adolis. He's quickly becoming bilingual. This was his first clubhouse interview in front of a group of reporters done exclusively in English.

What Garcia has done the last three years in Arlington translates in any language. And, if he can stay healthy and keep doing this for three more years, it will translate into a contract at age 34 that would have been beyond his wildest dreams when he departed his native Cuba at age 23. 

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