Another free agent outfielder not named Carlos Beltran was pulled from the market yesterday. With the options dwindling, interest in Beltran figures to pick up this week. Several clubs, including the Blue Jays, Cardinals, Red Sox and Rays, have been tied to Beltran this offseason. Yesterday, more details emerged regarding Beltran and his future deal. Let’s take a look at the latest Carlos Beltran rumors.
We ran over the list of Beltran suitors Sunday, listing the Cardinals and Blue Jays as the favorites to land the veteran slugger. While they’ve been named as possible suitors, the Red Sox and Rays do not appear likely to sign Beltran.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports speculates that it will take an annual salary of $12-12.5 million over two or three years to nab Beltran this winter. This would put the slugger into Aramis Ramirez, Lance Berkman and David Ortiz salary range.
At this point, the annual salary doesn’t seem to be as much of a stumbling block for potential suitors as the length of the contract. Beltran is set to turn 35 next season, and teams are wary of the outfielder’s age and injury history. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, Beltran’s agent, Dan Lozano, is seeking a three-year deal for his client.
Passan says the Cardinals would look to plug Beltran in as a corner outfielder. This would allow the club to shift Lance Berkman to first base to replace Albert Pujols while adding an impact bat to their lineup. Passan calls any plan of playing Beltran in center “dubious at best” as many have considered the veteran’s defense to be “iffy” for the past three seasons.
For this reason, the Cardinals are likely hesitant to give Beltran a three-year deal.
At least the Blue Jays could hide Beltran away in their designated hitter’s role. Now that they’ve missed out on Yu Darvish, Toronto clearly has the money to spend on Beltran. While they already have a solid core of young outfielders, the Blue Jays could look to add Beltran and make a trade for starting pitching.
You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.