According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the St. Louis Cardinals remain interested in veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran. We’ve seen Beltran linked to the Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays of late, while other ‘mystery teams’ have also been tied to the slugger. Now, Rosenthal hears from sources that those mystery clubs are the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. Let’s take a look at the latest Carlos Beltran rumors.
Over the past week we’ve watched the market for corner outfielders develop. Beltran’s ‘competition’, Josh Willingham and Michael Cuddyer, found new landing spots this week. Now, with Christmas approaching, it appears Beltran will be the next corner outfielder to find a home.
While the Rockies and Twins were targeting outfield help this winter, the signings of Cuddyer and Willingham figure to have taken them out of the market. That leaves Beltran with four suitors; the Cardinals, Blue Jays, Red Sox and Rays.
After watching long-time Cardinal Albert Pujols flee for Los Angeles this offseason, St. Louis is said to be prepared to reallocate their money elsewhere. The Cardinals are expected to move slugger Lance Berkman to first base to fill the void left by Pujols, which will free up a spot in St. Louis’s outfield. With few impact options remaining on the market, the Cardinals should continue to be tied to Beltran this offseason.
Rosenthal notes that, while the “extent of the Jays interest in Beltran is unclear”, Toronto is “exploring ways to improve its offense”. While the Blue Jays already have a bevy of young and talented outfielders, the club could look to move a piece or two in order to bring in a starting pitcher this winter. Toronto has also shown that it has the financial flexibility (think Yu Darvish situation) to bring in a player such as Beltran.
While Boston could also afford the addition of Beltran, the Red Sox are known to be more focused on upgrading their pitching than beefing up their offense.
Rosenthal says the Rays, who do not possess the financial flexibility of other American League East rivals, figure to only become involved with Beltran if his market completely “crashed”. For the time being, this seems unlikely to happen.
What is likely holding up contract talks is team’s unwillingness to give Beltran a three-year deal. Rosenthal says that, while they are intrigued by his career numbers, teams are turned off by his age and history of knee problems.
You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.