The Yankees have already lost Robinson Cano to the Mariners, so they are wasting no time in signing Carlos Beltran. He will certainly add some power to the team now that they have lost both Cano and Curtis Granderson, so while they do have an excessive amount of outfielders now, they do also get around 20 home runs back. Unfortunately, they also get an extra third year of him too.
Just a few days ago the Yankees were pursuing Beltran for a two-year deal, however, when a potential third year was brought into the mix, they backed off. It made sense to avoid signing an injury prone outfielder in his late 30s. Within a matter of hours they had signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year-deal and that seemed to make them set on outfielders. It was a lot of money for a long time, but at least he's young.
They rejected Robinson Cano in order to avoid potentially having to pay a massive 10-year deal, which he would end at the age of 41. It was sad to see him go, but at least you could say that the Yankees may have learned something from the Alex Rodriguez contract. Eight years might have made sense, but 10? If they were taking a stand against signing over-the-hill players, then I guess it's progress from what we've seen before.
If you haven't noticed, the Yankees love signing old players. That's how they feel they can take advantage of the market and come out with value without anyone fighting with them over it. They brought in Hiroki Kuroda, Alfonso Soriano, Vernon Wells, Kevin Youkilis, Travis Hafner, Lyle Overbay in 2013. Only Kuroda, Soriano and maybe Overbay brought any value to the team. They signed Ichiro Suzuki to a two-year deal, through his age-40 season, and they've paid dearly for it. They bring in old players, but it doesn't seem like it's been very successful outside of one year from Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia.
The Yankees balked at adding Beltran for three years, but now that they have extra money to spend in place of Cano, they're suddenly ok with it? Just because they have more money doesn't mean Beltran is any less old. This contract will pay him $15 million a year from his age-37 season through his age-39 season, somehow miraculously avoiding his 40-year-old season. They are paying Ichiro only $7 million by comparison, so think about how Beltran's third season could look. Are the Yankees panicking now? Was their reluctance to sign Beltran before just a smokescreen? It kind of doesn't make much sense why they're suddenly ok investing so much in him.
If the Yankees are fine bringing in another player pushing 40, why was bringing back Robinson Cano such an issue? It doesn't make sense to avoid having a player at 40 by signing a player when he is 39. Sure, you'd be paying him more money, but you'd also be getting someone who was actually still in his prime years. Cano is much more durable too and is likelier to be more productive before the eventual downward spiral. Beltran is already in that spiral, and with his injury history, this deal could end up being the real albatross after all. Worse than Ichiro even. They're basically paving over their mistake with him with a contract that could potentially be even worse.
In the end it sounds like the Yankees just wanted a name brand to go along with Derek Jeter and Ichiro, considering they are convinced Cano isn't one. It looks like the Yankees didn't learn anything after all. Are you surprised? You shouldn't be.
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