With the announcement that Albert Pujols will not be returning to the Cardinals but instead he signed a ten year 250+ million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and with the announcement that Allen Craig will miss some time recovering from a knee injury the Cardinals have to move on and start looking forward to next season. Since Craig is expected to miss some time, the Cardinals need to pursue an outfielder, and who else is a better fit than Carlos Beltran?  The market for Beltran has been very slim, with the Giants out, Red Sox and Yankees out, the Cardinals really do have a good shot at signing Beltran for a similar deal to what Lance Berkman signed last season. Though, I wouldn’t mind getting Beltran, I would rather have Ryan Ludwick back, he is cheaper and will be able to platoon more with Jon Jay instead of seeing full time play for Beltran. But a deal with Beltran could be really good for the Cardinals in several different ways. So here is why I think the Cardinals should make a run on Carlos Beltran:Protection:

With Allen Craig missing at least through May, maybe even June the Cardinals might want to get a bat to fill that void atleast through that time. Beltran could really help the offense that is now without Albert Pujols, imagine a 3-4-5 of Holliday, Berkman, and Beltran that is still pretty good though it may not be the same as the big three from last year, the Cardinals would still have a huge 1-2-3 punch maybe one of the best in the game.  Also, if Jay’s production starts to decline like I feel he might, Beltran could become the starting center fielder while Jay slides back into the fourth outfielder position where he has proven himself the past two seasons.

Trade value:

If they were to sign Beltran to a one year deal similar to Berkman’s from last year, and Craig were to return with great production and be able to stay healthy the Cardinals could use Beltran as a great trade chip. Beltran last season earned the Mets a top pitching prospect, wouldn’t that be a nice trade off. The Cardinals could use Beltran to fill the gap until Craig returns and then trade him for a decent prospect or maybe even a reliever that is MLB ready.

Proven player:

Beltran has really proven himself as a player in his 14 year career, as a member of the Kansas City Royals where he won the Rookie of the year, Houston Astros, New York Mets, and San Francisco Giants. Beltran is a great hitter as well as a great fielder with a plus arm who can play all aspects of the game well and would be an asset to the Cardinals.  Though he will be 35 next season he still has some production left and proved that last year where he hit 22 home runs drove in 84 runs and batted .300 while only missing twenty games due to a minor injury. He is a great presence to have on any team that could afford to have him, and with his market the way it is, that price may be just right for the Cardinals. For his career Beltran has a .283 AVG, 302 HR, 1146 RBI’s, 293 stolen bases, and 1,184 runs.

Free Agency Market:

As I have mentioned before, the market for Beltran is very slim. With the Giants reportedly out, Red Sox out, that leaves his two biggest suitors out and as time goes on the money value will go down for the slugger. It is very possible that Beltran could sign a one year deal for under ten million if all comes to all, and if that is so the Cardinals should jump at the chance to get him.

About The Author

I've loved the Cardinals for as long as I can remember, and always will.