Fresh off a World Series championship, the Boston Red Sox are looking to improve their roster this offseason to make a run at back-to-back titles next year. To that end, Boston has reportedly been in serious talks with free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran.
The Red Sox, New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles are currently chasing Beltran the hardest, but Boston might be the most attractive option for the 36-year-old outfielder. Beltran is coming off of a season for the St. Louis Cardinals during which he hit .296 with 24 home runs and 84 RBIs. He also posted an OPS of .830 and a WAR of 2.4.
Beltran will be headed into his 17th season in 2014, so there is a lot of wear on his tires. That said, he’s held up very well and is still one of the best postseason players in baseball history. He is a career .333 hitter in four trips to the playoffs, with a staggering OPS of 1.128, 16 home runs and 40 RBIs.
He was a big part of the Cardinals run to the World Series this year, where they fell to the Red Sox.
Beltran is also an eight-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner, and has won the Silver Slugger twice. Additionally, he was this year’s recipient of the Robert Clemente Award, given annually to the MLB player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.”
The Red Sox would be taking a gamble by giving a multi-year contract to a 36-year-old (Beltran wants a three-year deal) but they could certainly use the pop he would bring to their lineup, especially if they have another deep playoff run in mind.
Beltran has aged well and doesn’t appear to be falling off at all. If the Red Sox really want him, they would be smart to lock him down quickly. He shouldn’t stay on the market long.