Astros’ fans, it is time to stop booing Carlos Beltran, because he is your new left fielder! Beltran returns on a one-year deal.
Well, happy holidays! Houston Astros fans get an early present. Buster Olney Tweeted while I was getting ready to go to the movies that the Astros have signed Carlos Beltran. The contract is a one year deal worth $16 million for the 39-year-old outfielder. Olney also said that it includes a full no-trade clause as well. Like the Astros would risk losing Beltran again.
For those new to Astros history, the Astros traded for Beltran back in 2004, and he was the driving force in the playoffs. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as they lost in the playoffs in the NLCS. I was just reading about this in Bill Brown‘s new book, Breathing Orange Fire when I heard about Beltran returning to Houston. Many felt that he used the Astros as leverage to get more money from the Mets.
This deal is great for the Astros. It gives them one more year to develop Teoscar Hernandez, Tony Kemp, or Derek Fisher. On Talking Stros recently, we suggested that it would take a two-year deal to sign Beltran. We will see how much he has left in the tank, but a two-year deal was risky. He could have signed with other teams, but he will be able to play in the outfield with Houston for at least one year.
A team leader.
As Bod Nightengale Tweeted, they did not only sign Carlos Beltran, the slugger. They signed Beltran, the team leader. They signed Beltran, the switch-hitter who could bat in the middle of the lineup. In today’s post on CTH, new writer Andrew had a great way of looking at the Beltran versus Edwin Encarnacion discussion. He said the Astros should not wait for Encarnacion and make the same mistake when they lost Beltran the first time.
If the Astros would have waited for Encarnacion, they could have got him, but what if they ended up with neither? Unlike the 2005 team, the 2017 projected Astros lineup doesn’t need Beltran. However, it’s sexier with him in it. Beltran can offer more than Carlos Gomez or Colby Rasmus could to the young Stros clubhouse.
Nightengale also Tweeted that Beltran is excited to rejoin the team he left 12 years ago. He could be the piece to the Astros puzzle not to let them get dominated by the Texas Rangers. His leadership could lead to the Stros reaching the promised land this season. This is a legit lineup and putting the switch-hitting Carlos Beltran in the middle of it, oh snap.
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Great deal for both sides.
I will go deeper into the lineup and impacts of this move later, but I believe that the Astros will still go after Encarnacion. Beltran is a great sign, but they are looking to improve beyond 2017 as well. They have been after both, so nothing has changed. They got their switch-hitting outfielder. It will be interesting what the next move is. It’s unlikely they get both though.
I predict the Astros handle Encarnacion like they did Alex Bregman. Sign him, then figure out where to go next. Signing Beltran makes the chances go down a little at Encarnacion, but I wouldn’t say that it has killed it. I wrote a few weeks ago that they were going after both, nothings changed. However, look for a trade off the MLB roster for a starting pitcher if they sign Encarnacion.
The Astros have been aggressive as promised, but who knows what could happen at the winter meetings. Get your season tickets because this will be a great run to the playoffs in 2017. All aboard the Astros bandwagon trade, full steam ahead. Anyone excited about tomorrow’s Talking Stros?