Carlos Beltran wants a three-year deal and would like to call The Bronx home. The Yankees would love to plant him in right field, but aren’t willing to go beyond two years. Despite the difference, the industry buzz is the sides will eventually find common ground, and the switch-hitter will slide into the middle of the Yankees’ order and take over in right for Ichiro Suzuki. According to a free agent outfielder who the Yankees have talked to, Beltran is going to be a Yankee. The sticking point is the length of the deal for Beltran, who will be 37 in April and made $13 million last season when he helped the Cardinals reach the World Series. Perhaps a two-year deal with an easy attainable option for the third year can be worked out. In the first week of November, the Red Sox were the most aggressive of the three teams chasing Beltran. Now, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Yankees have pulled even with the other four teams in the hunt for Beltran. In addition to the Red Sox, the Mariners, Orioles and Royals are in on Beltran. The same person said Beltran won’t reach a decision this week. This past season, Beltran hit .296 with 24 homers, 84 RBIs and an OPS of .830. The NL champs offered him a $14.1 million qualifying offer and it was rejected, so the team signing Beltran forfeits a draft pick. Possibly helping the Yankees’ bid to get Beltran is the fact hitting coach Kevin Long was Beltran’s coach at Single-A in 1997, when he was in the Royals organization. With catcher Brian McCann a physical away from officially becoming a Yankee — thanks to a five-year, $85 million deal — and the team engaged with high-end free agent talent, it’s clear waiting for Robinson Cano hasn’t put the Yankees in financial handcuffs.
Yankees emerging as favorite for Carlos Beltran
New York Post | Nov 26