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Yankees remain favorite to sign Carlos Beltran

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The Royals are among eight teams who are pursuing the outfielder.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are viewed around the league as the strong favorites to sign free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. While the team has only shown a willingness to give him a two-year deal to this point, they could include a third guaranteed year or more in monetary value if they are serious enough about adding him.

As Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports, the Kansas City Royals are also very interested in Beltran, and appear willing to offer him a three-year contract to come back to Kansas City. After signing Jason Vargas to a four-year, $32 million contract, the Royals may have less financial room to work with than other teams, setting them back in the Beltran sweepstakes. The Yankees are considered more likely than Kansas City to land Beltran due to their financial position.

In addition to the Royals and Yankees, the Red Sox, Reds, Rangers, Mariners, Tigers and Orioles have all expressed interest in signing the 36-year old Beltran. The Rangers have seemed serious about Beltran all winter, and could add him if Nelson Cruz signs elsewhere. Seattle is also interested in Cruz and other available hitters, but could prioritize adding Beltran if the price is right.

According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, the Red Sox are considering alternatives in case their four free agents (Jacoby Ellsbury, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Stephen Drew and Mike Napoli) sign elsewhere. Theoretically, Beltran could assume right field duties for the Sox while they shift Shane Victorino to center field in place of Ellsbury.