Carlos Beltran, who has become one of the most clutch players in postseason history (except for that one night at Shea), could be on the Yankees’ radar this winter, a move the former Met will strongly consider, sources tell Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
According to multiple sources, the Yankees could be in the market for an outfielder this winter as they look to add some pop to a lineup that finished next-to-last in the American League in home runs and 10th in runs scored.
Beltran would fit the bill, having averaged 28 homers during his past two seasons in St. Louis and 24 per year since making his full-time debut in 1999.
A source familiar with Beltran’s thinking said the 36-year-old — he’ll turn 37 in April — would be interested in a potential move to the Bronx, where he could step in as the primary right fielder while getting some turns as the designated hitter to keep his body fresh.
Before signing his original deal with the Mets, Beltran’s first choice was to sign with the Yankees, but they with Bernie Williams still in the fold they took a pass. Feinsand says that Beltran also held out hope to join the Yankees again in 2011 before signing his two-year deal with St. Louis, but they were committed to Nick Swisher at the time.
That said, the planets may be in perfect alignment for Beltran to finally join the Yankees, who have a gaping hole in right field.
As Feinsand states, Beltran would represent a significant upgrade; his .830 OPS would have ranked third among all AL right fielders with at least 500 plate appearances and his 24 homers would have tied for fourth-best.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was noncommittal, but stressed something I talk about a lot which is to constantly be on the lookout to upgrade various positions on the team.
“It’s hard for me to really say,” Cashman said. “Ultimately, the truth of the matter is, it’s my job to always find better than what we already have.”
Asking Cashman to speak about a player who is still signed with another team, was silly as it could be construed as tampering, that’s why he circled around it.
Last night, Beltran didn’t mince any words about the overly exuberant Yasiel Puig, who celebrated his RBI triple in a very Valdespin-esque way.
“As a player, I just think he doesn’t know how to act,” Beltran said. “That’s what I think. He really doesn’t know. He must think that he’s still playing somewhere else.
“He has a lot of passion, no doubt about that — great ability, great talent. I think with time, he’ll learn that you’ve got to act with a little bit more calm.”
“I’m in the outfield,” Beltran said. “I mean, it’s not great. To me, I don’t like it. But what can I say? I don’t play for them. I just play over here. I just need to do my job. It is what it is.”
Puig has been criticized throughout his rookie season for his emotional style of play, but last night he celebrated at the plate believing he had homered, and then again at third base after he safely beat Beltran’s strong throw.
“It’s Puig, man,” Carl Crawford said. “He’s been doing it all year. I mean, I know it’s one of those things where a rookie probably shouldn’t be doing that kind of stuff. But they love it around here. So I guess it’s OK.”
A few times during the Summer I shared my concerns that many of the problems the team had with Jordany Valdespin and even Ruben Tejada, could have been avoided if there was a veteran Latino presence like Beltran around to keep these kids grounded and guide them in the right direction… Someone they could respect and understand without the communication gaps we’ve seen and heard about.