Once again, Beltran came to the Yankees at the last minute

Why not pursue Hiroki Kuroda?
Open Thread: Ed Whitson

Seven years ago, Carlos Beltran and Scott Boras famously came to the Yankees during the final minutes of the outfielder’s free agency, offering to join the team at the discount rather than sign elsewhere. The Yankees said no thanks, and off went Beltran to the Mets for seven years and $119M. Jon Heyman says Beltran (no longer a Boras client) did the same thing this year, offering himself to the Yankees at the last minute for the same two years and $26M he got from the Cardinals. The Yankees again declined, and now he’s in St. Louis.

I still think that passing on Beltran before the 2005 season was one of the biggest mistakes the Yankees have made under Brian Cashman, though in hindsight you can say they dodged a bullet given all his injuries in recent years. This time around it’s a different story, because he is older with bad knees and the Yankees don’t need the offense or an outfielder. It’s pretty clear that Beltran wants to wear pinstripes though, it just doesn’t look like he’ll ever get the chance.

Why not pursue Hiroki Kuroda?
Open Thread: Ed Whitson
  • JAG

    It really is too bad, prime-years Beltran would have been a monster for the Yankees. Sometimes the stars align and a great player plays for the team he wants to play for and does brilliantly (i.e. A-Rod). Othertimes not. Makes me want to go back and play MVP 2005 and reassign Beltran to the Yankees.

  • bonestock94

    I don’t get the overwhelming need to upgrade from Swisher. Neither do the Yankees, apparently.

  • Darren

    Um, in light of his injuries, how can you say that it would have been the right move?

    • crawdaddie

      Because you’re assuming those injuries would have happened as a Yankee.

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

        The Yankee Stadium outfield is a scary place.

        Bobby Abreu

        • Jimmy

          Mickey Mantle’s knee agrees.

          • jsbrendog

            apples and oranges, mantle played when drainage ditches and sprinklers were right out in the open for wny fool to trip on. now that’s all underground.

  • http://yes jim

    What the owners and players have done is to make sure the Yankees ownership makes even more profit. They won’t be signing free agents unless they come very cheap. They will resign their own players at the cost of letting existing Yankees go. (Posada to the Rays?) The owners themselves are responsible for two anchors in A-Rod and Soriano, and Cash can be blamed for Burnett and the missing Melancon and Aceves. (Kennedy is a wash with the Grandyman). The only positive in the new fiscal era will be….maybe they’ll give the minor prospects a shot. I may be wrong, but, without giving Oswalt anf Kuroda a one year incentive shot, or having signed Jones or Chavez, the tax will stay in their pockets and the Rays who grow their own will rule the roost.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Complaining about Melancon? Really?

      • CS Yankee

        Melancon to the 14!!!!

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

        Where were all these tears when they acquired Berkman for him? :)

        • CS Yankee

          Must be because he was a so-so “Albie type” arm during the trade but now he has graduated to the team that knows talent better than all the others put-together.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Given how horrible the Yankees bullpen has been in recent years, how could you not complain about that trade!

        • Preston

          Randy Levine knows the importance of having four closers, even if silly Cashman doesn’t.

    • Mickey S

      So FIVE comments are focused on one sentence when the other points Jim made are legit. Well said Jim, perhaps we’ll be able to see a Kennedy type actually perform and grow in pinstripes, that would be the silver lining in all this new-found fiscal conservity.

    • Roy

      We are in a great spot. It would be great if some of these kids pitch for us. Let’s look at them with plenty of time to add a pitcher by the deadline. let’s bring them up and not give them the Jobba and Hughes ( who are not dead yet) treatment. I like the odds.

  • crawdaddie

    It doesn’t appear that the Yankees missed Melancon nor Aceves much. Furthermore, their high revenue streams are influenced by having a WS contending team. Sooner or later, they will have to spend money in order to ensure having such a team every year, otherwise, ticket sales and television ratings will drop enough to negatively affect their bottom line.

  • AndrewYF

    I still find it hard to believe that the Yankees thought Bernie Williams was a viable CF going into 2005. His dWAR in 2004 was -2.1. 21 runs! Though of course no one quite cared about defense so much back then, and to those people’s defense, the worst defensive team of all time still ended up winning 95 games. Try saying that about the worst offensive team, or the worst-pitching team of all time. Defense is just not as important as people think.

    • Steve (different one)

      They didn’t. Or at least Cashman didn’t, which was why he signed Kenny Lofton the previous year. Unfortunately, Torre refused to play him so they traded him while they could…

  • Robert

    It was a huge mistake not to being in Beltran.They need someone in the lineup to protect Cano ,Beltran would have done that.

    • Steve (different one)

      This time was a “huge mistake”? Really?

  • Esteban

    I blame Randy Johnson.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      I blame Randy Jackson, dawg.

  • Rey22

    What a shame. Elite players and the Yankees are usually a good match, and more often than not, the deal gets made. The pitching would still have been sketchy, but Beltran could’ve put some monster numbers in the middle of Yankee lineups. I’m talking first round of course. No interest thing time around.

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    Coulda shoulda woulda the first time around. Not a player who meets the Yankees’ needs the second time around. Just wasn’t meant to be.

  • Jamey

    What was the discount he was willing to play at compared to what he got from The Mets? Don’t think I ever heard it. At the time I wasn’t too upset because I hadn’t really seen enough of Beltran to covet him as a big contract player. As a fan I’m usually suspect of guys coming off a roll like that in a contract year not to mention HOW WOULD HE PLAY ON THE NEW YORK STAGE?! Kidding of course, but then again not like we haven’t seen guys with a world of talent unravel where fans live & die on every pitch at times.

    • Kevin Winters

      According to reports he was willing to play here for 100 million.

    • Steve (different one)

      He offered the Yankees the same contract as the mets, but for 6 years instead of 7….

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    FACT: If Beltran would have come to the Yankees, the new stadium would have gotten a Shake Shack instead of Citifield. Instead, we ended up with Johnny Damon and Johnny Rockets hockey pucks.

    • CS Yankee

      Whoever brought the garlic-fries to the stadium should be extended.

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

        That guy, Melky, and IPK to the Giants (wait, they already have Melky…fuck) for Matt Cain and Gilroy’s Garlic Fries.

        I’ll throw in Brandon Laird and DJ Mitchell for the Dunganese Crab Roll vendor.

    • Rainbow Connection

      Yeah, Citifield’s food kicks the shit out of YS’s food. Not even close.

      • Steve (different one)

        That’s true. But it is also the stadium’s main attraction.

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

        It really is sad how completely devoid of personality the majority of YS3’s food is. I didn’t get to taste the Parm booth yet (only attended one game last year due to the birth of my son in July….not the usual season for sure), but that is probably a diamond in a sea of nothing. Citifield really does give you more of a taste of NY food.

  • Matt

    Beltran was a steal at the contract he got. It’s really a shame that the Yankees passed at the time. While the Randy Johnson deal worked out in 2005, he was 41 when the trade was made. Beltran was 27 and a 5 tool player in his prime, with the Yankees having an aging Bernie in CF.

    He compiled 32.2 WAR over the 7 years of the deal, while making only $119 million. In his first 4 seasons of the deal, he played 140 games or more each year and put up WAR’s of 2.7, 7.9, 5.5, and 7.6. Despite playing in only 81 games in 2009, he put up 3.0 WAR. He was coming back off of injury in 2010, and was solid again in 2011 putting up 4.7 WAR.

    The Yankees ended up having to sign Damon to a 4 year/$56 million deal in the very next season anyway, who never ended up having a year of more than 4.0 WAR over the entire life of the contract! Damon put up 13.2 WAR over the 4 years, which was 28% less than Beltran on average despite having an average salary only 17% lower. This even includes Beltran’s throwaway 2010 season, and his injured 2009 one. Damon was healthy every year of his deal.

  • Gonzo

    Bold prediction. Beltran offers the Yankees a one day contract before he retires.

    • Gonzo

      Bolder prediction. Yankees decline and send a restraining order to Beltran

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

        Judge denies restraining order on grounds that Beltran’s knees are too messed up to catch up to anyone

  • pat

    I honestly believe the Mets’ shitty medical staff screwed him up. He never should have tried to play through that bone bruise in his knee a couple years ago. That’s where all the big problems started.

    • Gonzo

      Wasn’t Dr. Kevorkian on the payroll at some point?

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher


    • Rainbow Connection

      Didn’t they also let Johan pitch even thought they knew he was hurt, just so they can keep selling tickets?

  • Rich in NJ

    I wanted Beltran if his knees checked out (I suspected he might still want to play with the NYY), but if they sign Cespedes and Soler instead, I’m more than fine with it.

    • Jimmy

      You’ll get nothing and like it. Help yourself to some $8.50 beer and stay out of the moat.

  • Hardy

    I thought Beltran was a good match as a “tenth man”. They would have had seven players (Teixeira, Swisher, Granderson, Gardner, Montero, Martin) for six spots (C, 1B, DH, 3 OF). A better use of the resources than an additional reliever in my opinion.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      CJ Wilson would have made the perfect LOOGY as well.


      • Hardy

        Some people look really forward to 450 PA of Cervelli & co.


    • Steve (different one)

      What reliever is getting $13M from the Yankees this winter?

      • Hardy

        The point is: Now we know that the Soriano contract actually hurts the team on the field (at least in 2012) instead of just the Yankees bottom line.

        • Steve (different one)

          Of course, this is a given. Maybe the wording was just awkward, and I missed his point.

  • Grover

    I’d not rule out Beltran joining the Yanks when he is done with his two year stint in St. Louis. Perhaps by then he will look forward to being a designated hitter.

    • Billion$Bullpen

      Or a potential off the bench bat even later than that. It seems obvious he wants to be a Yankee. I can appreciate that. Hell I would too. Maybe he should have offered a better discount.

  • Skip

    Anyone think that Beltran is the player that Cashman referenced when he said that they essentially had a Yankee fan on vacation with said player, who trashed the Yankees only to approach them for a contract during free agency? I know a lot of speculation was geared towards Manny, but Beltran is definitely a possibility too!

  • Jason

    This actually makes me feel kinda bad. Beltran clearly very much wanted to play for the Yankees in his career, and now he very well may have just seen his last chance taken away from him. However, I guess after this contract he could be an option as a power righty bat off the bench, even as a 39 year old, which I would be open to for a reasonable contract, which I expect he would do if he’s on the downslide and truly wants his shot at being a Yankee.
    It just sucks that the timing was just never right. I mean, it’s clearly a desperation to come to the Yankees this offseason, when they have already shown an aversion to big spending and have no need for a big outfield bat, least of all an aging one.