Yankees would be wise to pursue Beltran

Cardinals outfielder proving in postseason he has plenty left in the tank
10/16/2013 12:58 PM ET
By Doug Williams

Carlos Beltran's career postseason numbers rival those of Babe Ruth.(AP)
There were reports yesterday that the Yankees and Carlos Beltran have mutual interest in each other, and that Beltran "would strongly consider" signing with the Yankees as a free agent this winter.

It's a move that makes sense for both sides. Beltran is 36, but is also very productive and hit .296/.339/.491 with 24 home runs last season. He's a switch hitter and a good defensive outfielder, but with his age, he could benefit from the DH spot a few times a week. For that reason, it's smart for Beltran to consider ANY American League team. But the difference between the Yankees and other teams is that Beltran has always wanted to play in pinstripes. He famously asked to sign with the team for less money before he signed with the Mets, and he showed interest again two years ago.

The eight-time All Star and three-time Gold Glove Award winner is historically great in the postseason, something that Yankees fans would quickly learn to love. In 156 postseason at bats, Beltran is hitting .327 with 16 home runs and 34 RBIs. If you were to translate his numbers from postseason games into an entire regular season, he would hit about 61 home runs with 130 RBIs. The Yankees will most likely decide between signing Beltran or re-signing Curtis Granderson, who has a career .229 average in the playoffs.

He also hits a lot of home runs to right field from both sides of the plate, and he would have a very high ceiling as a hitter with the short porch.

I'm sure there are Yankees fans out there that will say, "Another potentially injury-prone veteran hitter? Really?" Well, yes, because it's hard to find young, healthy and productive talent in the free-agent market. Beltran is going to be one of the best hitters available, and it would be silly not to take advantage of his interest in the team and his previous experience of playing and thriving in New York.

The Yankees have Ichiro Suzuki, Alfonso Soriano and Vernon Wells under contract, with Brett Gardner eligible for arbitration and presumed to return. Soriano, Gardner and Beltran would be a very good starting outfield, with Suzuki and Wells coming off the bench to spell Beltran in the field on occasion. With question marks at catcher, third base and second base, this would be a simple move that would add a lot of power and experience to the lineup and solidify the outfield.

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