The Cardinals did extensive background work on free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran last week and maintain strong interest in him, according to major league sources.

Other teams remain in the mix, however, and Beltran is weighing a variety of two- and even three-year options, sources say.

A three-year deal might seem like a stretch for Beltran, who is 34 and had injury-marred seasons in 2009 and '10 before appearing in 142 games for the Mets and Giants in '11.