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Carlos Beltran Turns Down St. Louis Cardinals Offer; Could New York Yankees Now Be in His Sights?

November 10th, 2013 at 12:53 AM
By Doug Rush

On Saturday afternoon, Carlos Beltran made a decision for the 2014 season as he decided to reject the St. Louis Cardinals qualifying offer, which would have paid him one-year and $14.1 million.

With Beltran turning down the Cardinals offer, it shows that Beltran and the Cardinals will part ways after two seasons and coming up just short in the 2013 World Series last month against the Boston Red Sox, but the 37-year-old is one of the top free agents on the market and has potential suitors.

Along with the Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, the New York Yankees have interest in the outfielder, but more importantly, Beltran has major interest in playing in the Bronx, which dates all the way back to the offseason of 2005, where he was willing to take a $19 million discount to play for the Yankees, but the Yankees turned down Beltran in order to sign starting pitchers like Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright; which lead to Beltran signing with the New York Mets on a seven-year, $119 million deal.

In his six-plus seasons with the Mets, Beltran was a fine player and one of the more clutch hitters on the team, but was eventually traded in his seventh and final season with the Mets to the San Francisco Giants before hitting free agency again. That winter, there was some speculation on Beltran going to New York, but the Yankees decided to stick with Nick Swisher for another season and Beltran signed a two-year, $26 million deal with the Cardinals.

According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, Beltran is looking for a three-four year deal in free agency and with the Yankees potentially losing Curtis Granderson to free agency in hopes of a multi-year deal on the market, the idea of Beltran in the Bronx is starting to make a lot of sense.

"He will not accept the one-year, $14.1-million qualifying offer from the Cardinals. Therefore, his return to St. Louis is unlikely. As Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told reporters shortly after the World Series, "We never want to close doors. Reality is, when you look at the depth, trying to find ample playing time, I’m not sure how happy he will be." The Cardinals are moving on. So, too, is Beltran. The New York Yankees, who are expected to lose Curtis Granderson, and the Boston Red Sox, who apparently will lose Ellsbury, are eager to have him. Beltran had a reasonable-enough experience over nearly seven seasons with the Mets to consider a return to New York, this time in the Bronx."
 
Beltran is 37, but he's stayed healthy over the last two years in the National League with St. Louis, as he missed only 28 games in the two seasons playing primarily right field. If he were to come to New York, he would have the option of playing in the DH spot along with playing right field, which would keep his knees and body fresh. Before being traded to the Giants in 2011, Beltran missed quite a bit of time in 2009 and 2010 after needing major knee surgery, but it ended up helping him as it allowed him to continue his career and strong play. Even at 37, he could still get a two or three year deal, although the four year deal he's looking for might be a little bit of a reach given his age, but two or three might be more reasonable.
 
With the Cardinals, Beltran hit .269 with 32 home runs and 97 RBI in 2012 and then hit .292 with 24 home runs and 84 RBI in 2013, but he continued to cement himself as one of the most clutch players in the postseason, especially this past October when he hit two home runs and 15 RBI in 15 postseason games while hitting .294 in the World Series and .286 in the NLCS.
 
What all this means is that at the end of the day, the Yankees want Beltran to finally wear the pinstripes; even though many thought he should have been wearing them nine years ago, but even after nine years and three teams, Beltran still has eyes for New York and playing with an American League team where he can prolong his career, plus playing for a contender and maybe even finally winning that World Series that has eluded him for his career.
 
Photo credit: victoriapaige56 / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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Tags: Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Carlos Beltran, Curtis Granderson, MLB, New York, New York Mets, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals

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