2016 Statistics: 151 G, 593 PA, .295/.337/.513, 29 HR, 93 RBI, 124 wRC+, 2.3 fWAR
Age on Opening Day 2017: 39
Last week, the Yankees traded Brian McCann to the Astros for a couple of pitching prospects. The move made a lot of sense because the Yankees have Gary Sanchez waiting in the wings. If McCann had stayed, it was expected that he would spend most of his time in the role of designated hitter, but now the Yankees have an opportunity to get a new DH. Brian Cashman has indicated that the Yankees will now “pursue bats.” Should the Yankees consider a reunion with Carlos Beltran?
In December of 2013, the Yankees signed Carlos Beltran to a three-year deal worth $45 million. His first year in pinstripes ended up being one of the worst of his career (possibly because of elbow and knee injuries), but he really turned things around in 2015 and 2016. He was by and far the Yankees’ best hitter not named Gary Sanchez last season, slashing .304/.344/.546 with 22 home runs prior to being traded to the Astros. Beltran even ended up being the Yankees’ home run leader despite the fact that he was not with the team for the remaining two months of the season.
In some ways, a reunion with Beltran sounds like a great idea. Now that Alex Rodriguez is no longer blocking the DH spot, the Yankees would be able to get Beltran’s bat in the lineup without having to suffer through his questionable defense in right field. He played very well last year, and the Yankees could certainly use his bat if he can keep up that level of play (or even just avoid dropping off a cliff like A-Rod and Mark Teixeira did). Another benefit to signing Beltran is that it would block the Red Sox from signing him. The Red Sox are said to want Beltran “badly” to replace David Ortiz’s bat, and it would be terrible to watch Beltran turn into a Yankee killer. Obviously they shouldn’t sign Beltran just to block the Red Sox, but it could be an added bonus if this ends up happening.
On the other hand, Beltran is no spring chicken. Although he will be 39 on Opening Day, he will turn 40 on April 24th. Beltran does appear to have something left in the tank, but the same could be said for A-Rod following the 2015 season, and 2016 did not go the way the Yankees would have hoped in that regard. It would be a gamble to sign Beltran to a multi-year contract, and it is unclear what kind of deal Beltran is seeking at this point. It might be worth it to bring Beltran back if the Yankees can get him to agree to a one-year deal, but a multi-year deal could end badly.
Do you think the Yankees should bring back Carlos Beltran, or would you prefer to see them pursue other DH options?