Outfielder Carlos Beltran is set to be a free agent come this winter, and the San Francisco Giants are in desperate need of a power-hitting left fielder. So signing the eight-time All-Star for a second stint in San Francisco wouldn’t be such a bad idea, right?
I know many Giants fans might believe it’s a not a plausible solution to the team’s hole in left field given the way he was merely shown to the door by GM Brian Sabean, nor do they want to relive the trade that sent Zack Wheeler to the New York Mets. But in reality Beltran is still playing fantastic baseball, he could come at a relatively bargain price, and he’s probably the best option the Giants have to see an immediate impact in left field.
The 36-year-old signed a two-year, $26 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals during the 2011 offseason — a fairly cheap commitment considering the Giants decided to re-sign Aubrey Huff to a two-year, $22 million deal a year prior. Over his two seasons with St. Louis, Beltran hit. 282 with 56 home runs, 181 RBI, and held an OPS of .836. He was selected to the National League All-Star team in 2013.
So why not offer a deal to Beltran? Well, the Giants front office still has more work to do this winter after inking Hunter Pence to a five-year, $90 million new contract. Sabean will also go full force on Tim Lincecum‘s camp in an attempt to re-sign the two-time Cy Young winner. This could hinder the Giants’ chances of acquiring Beltran because Sabean and Co. are afraid of finishing a season in the red, financially speaking.
Really, though, come on. AT&T Park has sold out every game for almost three seasons now. Factor in profits made from two World Series titles worth of merchandising and taking Barry Zito‘s contract off the books, and I think the front office can risk the signing of Beltran; their pockets are deep enough. Maybe they’re not as deep as the Los Angeles Dodgers,’ but an effort has to be made to keep up with their division rival down south. And no, I’m not talking about the San Diego Padres.
Imagine an outfield consisting of Beltran, Angel Pagan and Pence from left to right. Imagine the meat of the Giants lineup consisting of Beltran, Pence, Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Brandon Belt — in whichever order manager Bruce Bochy pencils them in. That is the card that can lead the Giants to a third World Series Championship in five years.