Although the St. Louis Cardinals offered Carlos Beltran a one year, $14 million dollar qualifying offer, the team likely did it because they knew they’d probably lose their outfielder.
The 36, though, soon to be 37-year-old slugger is reportedly seeking a three to four year deal, something the Cardinals (nor any other National League team) will be willing to offer:
A week into the offseason, six teams have expressed varying degrees of interest in Beltran, a number that is likely to grow in a free-agent market that offers Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo as the big-ticket outfielders and then Beltran as the three- or four-year alternative. That’s right, according to sources, Beltran is no longer on the two-year plan he was after the 2011 season, though he remains adamant that he will go to a place where October baseball is most plentiful.
Such a contract would likely need to come from an American League team, where Beltran can alternate between the outfield and designated hitter position.
It’ll come at quite a cost for the team who does sign Beltran as he’s not only going to command a three or four year deal, as he wants, but it will also be lucrative and the team signing him will be forced to lose a draft pick as compensation to the Cardinals.
Quite the cost for an aging (though still talented) player who has a long history with nagging injuries.