The Yankees and Royals discussed Carlos Beltran in trade talks earlier this season, according to a report from George A. King III of the New York Post. Royals reliever Luke Hochevar was mentioned as part of the return.
King did not specify when the talks occurred, though Kansas City’s interest in Beltran is interesting considering the Yankees’ impending sale. New York is expected to look to deal key veterans, like Beltran and reliever Aroldis Chapman, over the next two weeks after losing two out of three to the Red Sox in the Bronx over the weekend.
The Royals have looked into the possibility of acquiring outfield help, though Paulo Orlando has played well as the club’s starting right fielder. With Lorenzo Cain on the disabled list and limited depth behind Cain, Orlando and Gordon, Kansas City could look to add a veteran piece before the end of the month.
Kansas City can acquire Beltran without his consent, as Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported in late May. Beltran spent the first six and a half seasons of his career with the Royals, from 1998 to mid-2004.
The inclusion of Hochevar in talks is a bit confusing, as the 32-year old has only pitched to a 3.86 ERA in 37 appearances so far this season and is only controllable through the end of this season. Hochevar has a $7 mutual option for next season, though the decision on his future will be his at the end of the season.
New York will likely sell bullpen pieces such as Chapman and Andrew Miller, so Hochevar doesn’t seem to be a strong fit at this point. The Yankees will likely look to get back controllable prospects in any deal for Beltran.