OF Carlos Beltran
Born: April 24, 1977 (will be 37) in Manati, Puerto Rico
Major League Debut: September 14, 1998
Teams Played For: Kansas City Royals (1998-2004), Houston Astros (2004), New York Mets (2005-2011), San Francisco Giants (2011), St. Louis Cardinals (2012-2013)
By the numbers-
2013 numbers: .296/.339/.491/.830, 128 OPS+, 24 HR, 84 RBI, 2.4 WAR
Career numbers: .283/.359/.496/.854, 122 OPS+, 358 HR, 1327 RBI, 308 SB, 67.5 WAR
Previous contract: 2 years, $26 million, $13 million AAV
Projected contract (from FanGraphs): 2 years, $26.8 million, $13.4 million AAV
Pros- Beltran continues to rake into his late 30s despite a lengthy injury history. He would easily be the best outfielder on the team, and make the lineup very deep. A middle of the order containing Beltran, Robbie Cano, Mark Teixeira, and the newly signed Brian McCann would be one of the deepest lineups in all of baseball, and Beltran may only have to bat 6th! When healthy, he’s still one of the better players in the game, especially in the postseason.
Cons- He is a huge injury risk. A HUGE injury risk. Let me emphasize that. His knee history with the Mets was the primary reason I didn’t want the Yankees to sign him two years ago, but he somehow managed to stay healthy and produce in the NL. Despite this, he has seriously declined as a defensive OF, which could make him a DH half the time. The Yankees can’t afford that.
Verdict- The age and injury history makes signing Beltran a giant risk. He really can’t play the outfield anymore, so he could end up clogging the DH spot, which has be rotated between Jeter, A-Rod (if he isn’t suspended), McCann, and possibly Alfonso Soriano. Also, he is asking for a multi-year deal, so giving him that as a 37-38 year old would be very foolish. A big N-O to Carlos Beltran. There are younger, and even cheaper alternatives like Shin-Soo Choo or Corey Hart.