Carlos Beltran: Astros may need him more than others

Jul 26, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Carlos Beltran (36) smiles before a game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 26, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Carlos Beltran (36) smiles before a game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

The Astros are interested in signing Grandpa Carlos Beltran, and Talking Stros is all for it.

Before yesterday’s Talking Stros, I sat down and looked at the splits to try to set an Astros lineup. Versus right-handed pitchers, the Houston hitters are very truly ‘Crush City.’ With the current players on the roster, they had an average .814 OPS versus right-handed pitchers. These were the based off the stats from 2016, which is impressive. Josh Reddick and Brian McCann help this average with .871 and .770 OPS respectively. If only we had Carlos Beltran again!

The Astros signed Reddick to a four-year deal for $52 million. They were comfortable giving him three years, but to sign him, they had to add the extra year. Some are calling Reddick the best signing of the offseason. With the Astros, there is always a catch. The catch is that Reddick struggles versus left-handed pitchers to a tune of .366 OPS.

As I mentioned on last night’s Talking Stros, that OPS would make Carlos Gomez blush with embarrassment. The analytical Stros are very aware of the splits, but what he can do versus RHP could help us win. McCann has not struggled as much as Reddick, but his .662 OPS versus lefties is not great. Outside of the top four hitters and Evan Gattis, the rest of the team struggles versus lefties.

Gattis might catch on the days that the Astros face left-handed pitchers, but who will fill the designated hitter slot. A.J. Reed, Jake Marisnick, Nori Aoki, McCann, and Reddick all might ride the pine versus LHP, but all of them can’t sit. Marwin Gonzalez could play first base, but the ninth guy versus a lefty is hard to find. Teoscar Hernandez could be the answer, but he is not even guaranteed to make the opening day roster.

Hello, Carlos Beltran?

Brian McTaggart came on Talking Stros last night and echoed my co-host’s message; the Astros are not done yet. He says the Astros are very much in the Carlos Beltran chase. He stated that the Red Sox and Yankees are battling for him. I brought up a point during the show. The other two teams need a DH. If Beltran were to come to Houston, it would be as a left fielder.

We talked to Jeremy Booth about Beltran, and he said that he was in Seattle when the Mariners tried to sign him a few years back. He was very much interested in playing defense but wasn’t sure how he feels now. Beltran is not the same young guy he was with the Astros in 2004. He is now 39-years-old looking for one last potential deal.

Why we need Beltran?

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I can’t speak for all fans, but if Beltran returns to the Astros, it will undo what happened back then. The Astros could need him more now than they did back then. The Red Sox and Yankees have other options at designated hitter or could throw money at Edwin Encarnacion. The Stros need him to have a more balanced attack versus LHP. Let’s take a look at Beltran’s 2016 slash line versus lefties and righties.

Versus RHP: .279/ .321/ .484/ .805

Versus LHP: .338/ .380/ .589/ .970

Doesn’t that make you feel all giddy inside thinking of adding that player to the Stros’ lineup? To sign him, it may take a two-year deal at about $15-16 million dollars per season to sign him. If you think about it, Beltran fits on this team more than Encarnacion would. Starting in 2019, the Astros will have to start paying some of their current young stars. Also, each year, this same group is getting a raise through arbitration.

Next: Is Jeff Luhnow building an offensive juggernaut?

A shorter team deal may be more preferential to both sides. From what was said when Beltran was in Houston was that he liked the city. I say the Stros could use the switch-hitting Grandpa Beltran. My co-host Brandon feels like there is a shot to sign him to play left field, what about you?

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***