Just last week, free agent Carlos Beltran’s name was coming up in connection with the Astros, Rangers, and Red Sox. It appears now that the Rangers might be out and the Blue Jays and Yankees are in.
According to Rob Bradford of WEEI, the competition to acquire Beltran’s services is down to a four-team race between the Red Sox, Astros, Blue Jays, and Yankees.
The Blue Jays have been arguably the most active team in free agency this offseason, already committing $55 million combined in salaries to newcomers Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Kendrys Morales. With Beltran’s ability to field deteriorating, the 39-year-old seems like an odd fit while having already committed to Morales—another switch-hitter that should likely only DH.
On the other hand, a return to the Yankees may make a lot of sense. Per Bradford:
[W]ith the Yankees seemingly willing to deal Brian McCann, who would currently figure to slot into New York’s lineup as a designated hitter, Beltran could offer a logical replacement.
Beltran spent nearly three seasons with the Yankees before being traded to the Rangers this past trade deadline. Over the past two seasons, Beltran has managed 1,124 plate appearances with 48 home runs and 4.3 FanGraphs’ WAR. The only significant detriment to Beltran’s game by WAR being his defense, though his baserunning also took a step back this past season.
Prior to the Morales deal becoming official, it was rumored that the three teams involved would be the Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Yankees. Now that Beltran’s suitors appear to be the same—with the Astros in there as well—it will be interesting to see who wins the Beltran round.