Name: Carlos Beltran
Position: Right Field; Designated Hitter(?).
Age-34; he’ll turn 35 in April.
Transactions: Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 2nd round of the 1995 MLB Draft. Traded to the Houston Astros in June, 2004. Signed as a free agent with the New York Mets in January, 2005. Traded to the San Francisco Giants in July, 2011.
Agent: Dan Lozano.
Might he return to the Giants? Yes.
Teams that could use and pay him: New York Yankees; Toronto Blue Jays; Boston Red Sox; Baltimore Orioles; Detroit Tigers; Kansas City Royals; Minnesota Twins; Los Angeles Angels; Texas Rangers; Seattle Mariners; Atlanta Braves; Philadelphia Phillies; Washington Nationals; St. Louis Cardinals; Chicago Cubs; San Francisco Giants; Los Angeles Dodgers; Colorado Rockies.
Beltran comes to play every single day; he hits for power, average and gets on base; he can steal a few bases when necessary; he’s a solid defensive right fielder.
In spite of the repeated whining and reminders of that one pitch from Adam Wainwright in which Beltran watched a curveball break in for strike 3 to end the 2006 NLCS, Beltran is a clutch player who’s come up big in the post-season repeatedly.
I’ve said it again and again: Babe Ruth himself wouldn’t have hit that pitch and even had Beltran swung, he had zero chance of hitting it or fouling it off. Get over it.
Beltran’s stunning decision to part ways with Scott Boras will put forth the sense that he’s not going to be a hard-liner when it comes to a new contract and isn’t looking to receive a “Boras Contract” in which the agent asks for something insane that only a few teams are capable of providing.
He can handle the big city and the spotlight as long as he’s not the center of attention.
His surgically repaired knee held up in 2011, but it has to be in the back of any club’s mind when they sign Beltran that it could be a major issue at some point during the contract.
Is he or is he not willing to DH?
If he’s willing to DH, his options will be extended to a large chunk of the American League; if he’s not, then he’s limited to the National League and will hamper his ability to maximize his dollars. Beltran preferred to go to a National League team when the Mets were trying to trade him. Does he want to stay in the NL? Or is he flexible? Would he even think about playing some first base?
He’s a quiet, background player who doesn’t want to be the out-front leader.
What he’ll want: 4-years, $70 million.
What he’ll get: 3-years, $48 million.
Teams that might give it to him: Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Tigers, Royals; Twins; Angels; Rangers; Mariners; Phillies; Braves; Nationals; Cardinals; Cubs, Giants.
Beltran was one of the few players by whom Boras appeared to do entirely right.
Boras followed his desires by offering his services to the Yankees for less money than what the Mets offered; he got a clause inserted into the Mets contract that Beltran could not be offered arbitration, making him more attractive to prospective suitors due to the lack of draft pick compensation; and he got him paid.
Yet Beltran and Boras parted ways in advance of Beltran’s free agency and the player switched to Dan Lozano.
Who can speculate what it means?
Beltran must, must, must be open to DHing at least part of the time if he wants to get a contract of longer than 2-years.
Regardless of how desperate a club is to add his bat, his steadfast refusal to DH would hinder him terribly; and it’s a self-serving exercise in playing the outfield and running the risk of missing time and playing in 110-120 games when he could play in 150 games.
DHing isn’t for everyone—ask Adam Dunn—but this is a matter of exponentially increasing his ability to stay in the lineup as opposed to insisting on playing the outfield.
He has to do it.
The Red Sox could use Beltran’s quiet professionalism; the Yankees could use his switch-hitting power; he’d be a terrific acquisition for the Blue Jays; and the Cardinals could slot Beltran into right field if they lose Albert Pujols.
The Giants have spent freely on keeping middle relievers Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt and there’s been talk that they’ll be willing to trade Matt Cain for a bat. (I don’t think they’re trading Cain.) The easiest thing for the Giants would be to try and keep Beltran if they feel he can play the outfield on a 3-year deal.
The Rangers were very interested in Beltran but since he didn’t want to DH and made that clear, the Mets sent him to the Giants. Texas would be a great spot for him.
Would I sign Beltran? I like Beltran, but wouldn’t spend that amount of money for the number of years he’s going to want on a player with his knee issues.
Will it be a retrospective mistake for the team that does pay him? If it’s a NL team, it’s a safe bet that they’re going to regret it. If it’s an AL team, he’s more likely to produce and stay in the lineup.