The New York Yankees are in for a busy off-season. Re-signing Robinson Cano, Hiroki Kuroda and manager Joe Girardi should be the priorities. Offering Curtis Granderson the approximately $14 million tender is another. Granderson, chasing what will likely be his last free agent contract will likely reject it and get a contract elsewhere. That would be fine since the Yankees would likely get an additional first round pick and will have money to spend elsewhere. Granderson can be easily replaced by signing an aging veteran like Carlos Beltran.
Obviously Beltran isn’t in the prime of his career but if he proved one thing this season it is that there is plenty of life in his bat. He hit .296/.339/.491 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, three triples and 30 doubles with the St. Louis Cardinals this year. At 36-years-old he is no spring chicken but the Yankees could offer him a contract similar to what they offered Ichiro Suzuki, a two-year deal worth between $13-15 million might be enough to grab Beltran.
Of course, a lot has to be done before the Yankees can chase free agents, especially finding out what happens to Alex Rodriguez next season. If Rodriguez is suspended for the entire season the Yankees can spend his salary and catch a break. If not, they have to factor in his salary and his potential bonus money which could be as high as $33 million.
Adding a player like Beltran would give the Yankees a nice bat for less than what Granderson would cost while also adding a new dimension to the lineup. A lineup with Alfonso Soriano, Robinson Cano, Beltran, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner is nicely balanced and would certainly put the Yankees back into contention.
Adding Beltran doesn’t make the Yankees younger but it does make the Yankees better and set them up to really return to form in 2015 while staying competitive in 2014.