It was a good night on Tuesday at MLB’s All-star game for St. Louis Cardinals right-fielder Carlos Beltran. Getting the start in right field for the National League, Beltran collected one of the NL’s three hits and received a rousing ovation from New York Mets fans, where he spent six plus seasons.
Beltran, overall, has had an incredible 2013. He leads the Cardinals with 19 home runs and has been a productive force in the Cardinals lineup while managing to stay healthy at the ripe age of 36.
Beltran has been so productive and so healthy that he now thinks, according to comments over at STLToday.com, that wishes to play at least three more seasons.
“I would say three more years, just to say a number…. This is my 15th (season). If I could do (three more), that would be a good career for me. Now that I have heard a lot about (the Hall of Fame) I do think about it, and let’s hope I can stay healthy for the remaining three, maybe three, four years.”
If Beltran truly wishes to play three more seasons, then this will likely be his last in a Cardinals uniform.
I originally felt that the Cardinals should bring Beltran back for another season. With his age and injury history, it felt as though very few teams would be willing to give a contract longer than one season to Beltran and even in doing that, teams would be hesitant knowing they would have to forfeit a first round pick under the new collective bargaining agreement. The Cardinals would make Beltran a qualifying offer and because of the new rules and draft pick compensation, Beltran would have no choice but to return because the deal he would receive from the Cardinals for one season would be the highest annual rate and the best on the table.
But now that Beltran is publicly saying he is willing to play three seasons, and not just one or two, things have changed. Teams, particularly American League teams with the luxury of the DH, may be more willing to give the veteran a three-year contract knowing that the switch-hitter is eyeing the Hall of Fame. They may be willing to make it financially lucrative for Beltran to leave the Cardinals. Teams may be willing to sacrifice that draft pick.
The Cardinals could benefit from one more season of Carlos Beltran. Based on his productivity, nobody can deny that around $13 million a season, Beltran would be a bargain worth the risk in 2014.
Even with Oscar Taveras on the cusp, I was in favor of bringing Beltran back on a one-year deal, but now the game has changed.
Beltran won’t be looking for a one-year contract and the Cardinals won’t be able to offer him anything more than that. It would be too much risk and with young players like Taveras and Matt Adams looking to crack the lineup regularly in 2014.
Cardinals fans should enjoy what time they have left with Beltran. Even on a one year deal, it was uncertain whether the Cardinals would bring him back in 2014. Now that he wants to play three more seasons, there is almost zero chance the Cardinals and Beltran’s relationship lasts into next season.
- St. Louis Cardinals: First half in review (stlsportsminute.com)
- St. Louis Cardinals: Cardinals send five players to the 2013 All Star Game (stlsportsminute.com)
- 5 Cardinals’ prospects who could be trade pieces (cardinalsfarm.com)
- The Year of Stan Musial: St. Louis Cardinals get 6 All-Stars (stlsportsminute.com)