Formert Met who has put up huge postseason numbers was reportedly interested in Yankees twice before, but Bombers passed. However this could be the offseason that 36-yaer-old star hits Bronx.
Carlos Beltran, a proven playoff performer could be contemplating a move to the Yankees this winter as multiple sources say there is mutual interest between the team and the veteran outfielder.
DETROIT — Baseball’s newest Mr. October could be a Yankee next year.
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, sources say, would strongly consider.
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.
Beltran, famously caught looking to end 2006 NLCS with the Mets, could get a chance to change his New York legacy with Yankees.
Beltran has shown interest in being a Bomber before. In 2005, he reportedly went to the Yankees with a last-ditch discount proposal before signing with the Mets. He reportedly did the same in 2011 before signing his two-year deal with St. Louis.
Both times the Yanks weren’t interested. With Bernie Williams still patrolling center field, the Yankees opted not to bid on Beltran following the 2004 season. When he became a free agent after the 2011 season, Beltran was again interested in the Yankees, but his injury issues and a club-friendly option for Nick Swisher prompted the Bombers to pass once again.
Now, following two All-Star seasons with the Cardinals — and another impressive postseason run he hopes extends for another two weeks — might Beltran and the Yanks finally become a match?
The Yankees have Alfonso Soriano, Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells signed for 2014, leaving Soriano and Gardner the likely starters in left and center, respectively.
Right field is murkier. Ichiro started 126 games in the outfield last season (109 in right field), hitting .262/.297/.342 with seven home runs and 35 RBI.
Could Beltran (r.) and Derek Jeter be teammates on the Yankees next season?
Wells filled in admirably during the first six weeks of the season, hitting .301/.357/.538 with 10 homers and 23 RBI in 38 games. But his production fell off the cliff during the final four-plus months as he posted a .199/.243/.253 line with one home run and 27 RBI in 92 games.
The Yankees’ right fielders combined for a .655 OPS in 2013, last among the 15 AL clubs, while their 13 homers ranked 12th. 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.
Asked earlier this month whether he would look to improve the outfield this winter or stick with Soriano, Gardner, Ichiro and Wells, general manager Brian Cashman was noncommittal.
“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.”
The Yankees don’t know Alex Rodriguez’s status for next season, though even if he’s suspended for a large portion — or all — of 2014, finding a productive third baseman will prove to be challenging given the free-agent options.
Beltran eats postseason pitching alive, an asset the Yankees could use.
Atlanta’s Brian McCann is expected to be high on the Yankees’ radar this winter as they look for ways to upgrade the offense, but aside from catcher, right field figures to be the spot with the most room for improvement.
Beltran, who led the 2006 Mets to the NLCS only to get caught looking at the final strike of the series, is finishing up a two-year, $26 million deal with the Cardinals, so it's possible he could seek a three-year pact if he were to sign with an American League team, given the DH option.
Ichiro is due $6.5 million next season, while the Yankees are on the hook for only $2.4 million of the $21 million owed to Wells in the final year of his seven-year, $126 million contract.
Given that Ichiro turns 40 next week, Soriano turns 38 in January and Wells turns 35 in December, using the group in an outfield/DH rotation with Beltran would appear to make plenty of sense.
The one potential hitch in the Beltran-to-New York scenario could be Curtis Granderson.
The Yankees are expected to make a $14.1 million qualifying offer to the power-hitting outfielder, and while most expect Granderson to reject it in favor of a multi-year deal elsewhere, the possibility remains that he could accept it and return to the Yankees next season in an attempt to reestablish his free-agent value.
Granderson appeared in only 61 games this season due to a fractured hand and broken forearm, hitting .229/.317/.407 with seven home runs and 15 RBI.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/