Could the New York Yankees be in the running for Carlos Beltran, the veteran slugger that kept the Bombers relevant prior to his departure to Texas?
The switch-hitting right fielder earned his ninth All-Star selection and slashed .304/.344/.546 with an OPS of .890 and 22 home runs in 99 games. In fact, he was the reason why New York entered Aug. 1 with a .500 record and not 20 games below.
Unfortunately, he was traded away for a team that could use his services to make a playoff push instead of keeping a mediocre team afloat.
While doing just that, Beltran also kept his stock up by smacking seven home runs and 12 doubles in 52 games for the AL West-winning Rangers. He was denied his first World Series win after being swept in the ALDS by the Toronto Blue Jays but fully plans on returning to the game for a 20th season.
Does returning to the Bronx make sense?
Yes, New York got better after Beltran was dealt but that had nothing to do with his exit but a lot to do with Gary Sanchez’s rise to stardom upon his call-up. Plus, once the Kraken cooled down the offense did, too. One could argue that manager Joe Girardi missed penciling Beltran’s name into his lineup in mid-September when New York’s playoff chances were shot in the foot.
Speaking of Sanchez, a lineup with the finalist for the rookie of the year with the veteran that was on pace for 36 homers and 104 RBI with the Yankees might be some sight to watch.
Now, consider other options that can improve the lineup.
Obviously, Yoenis Cespedes and Edwin Encarnacion would do just that but with Beltran, Cashman has the ability to enhance his offense for 2017 using just a little cash on what would ideally be a one-year deal.
That becomes a no-brainer especially for a guy that will profit the club while not having a substantial and negative impact on the rebuild by blocking roster spots for the younger guys.
Beltran appears to be a better fit as the team’s everyday DH (especially being a switch hitter) than Brian McCann is, and if the team needs to take his roster spot thanks to the promotion of Clint Frazier (just an example), a move to the bench or even a trade for some prospects at the deadline again.
That could also push the effort for the Yankees to deal McCann for some prospects, something they won’t do thanks to his value as a DH. This would unquestionably provoke him to waive his no-trade clause as the signing of Beltran will drive McCann to a bench role.
In the end, while the idea of bringing Beltran back seems crazy initially, the idea truly works remarkably well for both parties here.
New York gets a DH with no commitment beyond 2017, and Beltran could return to a place he always wanted to play.