The St. Louis Cardinals have tendered Carlos Beltran a qualifying offer of $14.1 million for one year, and he has a week to accept or reject it. It’s a lot of money, but he’s probably not very happy about it.
Beltran has made it plain that he wants to play for another few years at least. By making the offer, the Cardinals have limited his options. Any team that signs him will have to give up a compensatory draft pick. Kyle Lohse was in the same situation last year, and he’s probably sympathizing with Beltran right now. Beltran will undoubtedly garner a lot more interest than Lohse did, but there will still be repercussions.
Even teams such as the New York Yankees are focusing more on home-grown players than in the past. High draft picks are not something to be given away lightly, even for a proven player such as Beltran.
The Cardinals don’t expect Beltran to accept the offer, but they probably wouldn’t mind too much if he did. He would be an outstanding mentor to Oscar Taveras, who will probably be on the opening day roster if he can stay healthy. Beltran is a fan favorite who helped lessen the sting of losing Albert Pujols. If Beltran hadn’t been injured in the first game of the World Series, who knows how things would’ve turned out.
It will be interesting to see this play out. If other players see Beltran getting fewer or lesser offers because of the draft pick attached, it may impact the Cardinals’ ability to sign free agents in the future. It would also be a shame if a player who gave so much to the organization and the St. Louis community comes to regret that he ever signed with the Cardinals two years ago.
Sara Lefebvre is a St Louis Cardinals writer for RantSports.com. Connect with her on Google.