The New York Yankees have been as busy as expected of late, and with free agent second baseman Robinson Cano heading west to join the Seattle Mariners, a move they made late Friday night was probably their most predictable, as they signed veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran to a three-year contract.
The deal with Beltran is for three years and $45 million, certainly a bit questionable considering the point at which Beltran is in his career. At age 36, it remains to be seen what type of production the Yankees will get in those three years, particularly in the latter part of the deal, but it was completely necessary as New York attempts to replace some of the offense that they lost when Cano departed in free agency.
After yet another brilliant postseason, and potentially grabbing the label of Greatest Postseason Player Ever, Beltran was drawing plenty of interest from around the league, including a former home of his with the Kansas City Royals. However, most teams were shying away from him due to his desire for a third year in a potential contract.
The list of teams that wanted to offer him a two-year deal had reportedly also included the Yankees, but with Cano headed to Seattle, the third year became necessary in order to get him. While that third year will have many scratching their heads at the deal, from a term perspective, there’s no doubt that the Yankees are making the right move here, and Beltran has landed with a team that should prove beneficial for him as well.
Playing primarily in the National League throughout his career, Beltran hasn’t had the opportunity to serve as a designated hitter. With his somewhat questionable health, which has been pretty good the last few years, he should relish the opportunity to grab some starts at DH throughout the year. He’ll likely get the bulk of the starts in right field, with Alfonso Soriano getting time in left when he’s in the lineup as a DH.
All in all, it’s an overpay for Carlos Beltran, specifically in regard to that third year. Nonetheless, it was necessary in order to makeup for some of the offense lost with Robinson Cano, while Beltran finds a spot that he can likely successfully finish off an outstanding career. Of course, there will be fallout in this deal related to the trade market, as Brett Gardner could now be available. His name will probably be a popular one as we head into the Winter Meetings at the beginning of the week.