Astros Rumors: Here we go again, team after Carlos Beltran
By Eric Huysman
Carlos Beltran with the Astros Part Deux?
The Houston Astros traded for Carlos Beltran down the stretch during the 2004 season. He became a great addition to the team and had one of the best postseason performances. Everyone was a Beltran fan, until the offseason. Rumors had that he was close to re-signing with the Astros, but instead, the New York Mets upped their offer. The rest is history.
This past July, Beltran was made available by the Yankees and Houston fans were open to bringing him back. Team management thought that adding Beltran to the team would bring some veteran leadership to the young Astros locker room. There was a real possibility that Beltran could come to Houston until the Rangers swooped in.
The Rangers made the playoffs, and the Stros finished a little short. Now that Beltran is a free agent, he gets to decide who he gets to finish his career with after the Rangers trade. He started his career with the Royals, then the Stros, Mets, Giants, Cardinals, Yankees, and then the Rangers. With almost 19 years in the MLB, Beltran knows how to play good baseball. Could he come back and help Houston win the World Series in 2017?
Is Jeff Luhnow interested in Beltran?
According to Mark Feinsand, the Stros and Rangers are both showing interest in Beltran. There is not a draft pick attached to Beltran because he was traded during the 2016 season. The only risk that the Astros would face is that he is not the same player defensively as he was in 2004. However, he could serve as a good right fielder if George Springer needs to shift to center.
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Feisand also said that the Stros were hot for Beltran. It’s unclear if Beltran is seeking a one or two-year deal. Beltran had a good season in 2016, batting .295 with 29 homers with a .850 OPS. Why should the Astros offer him a deal, because he could be the stopgap until Derek Fisher, Ramon Laureano, or Kyle Tucker is ready? He will bring power and a veteran presence to the team.
Here is what I would do if I were Luhnow, I would offer him a one-year $10-12 million deal with a club option for 2018. The switch-hitting Beltran would go into the fifth or sixth spot in the batting order. If the Astros are going all-in for 2017, adding a player like Beltran for one or two years will help. Also, to keep him off the Rangers roster couldn’t hurt either.
Next: Are the Astros really in on Miguel Cabrera?
The big question is, how hot is Beltran to return to Houston. Fans have spent the better part of a decade booing Beltran every time. Some fans are still are resentful for him leaving in 2004, others have moved on. Can we coexist after years of boos? We will find out at some point. Jeremy Booth of Program 15 said that Beltran’s swing fits perfect at MMP.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***