There is little doubt that veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran is one of the most sought-after names in the free agent market this year.
The former St. Louis Cardinals player declined a qualifying offer, and he is looking for what could be the last multi-year deal of his career. There could be several teams in the mix for him, and the New York Yankees are reportedly trying to work out a deal to secure his services as soon as possible.
Another team that should pursue him, however, is the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds are coming off a 90-win season, but they lost the NL Wild Card Game to the Pittsburgh Pirates. They don’t need many pieces to contend again, but there is little doubt that Beltran would be a great fit to patrol the Great American Ballpark outfield next year.
While it’s true that the AL might be a best fit for the 36-year-old veteran and given the fact that several teams are rumored to be interested in the switch-hitter, the Reds will have their work cut out for them to make a signing happen. That, however, shouldn’t stop the Reds’ pursuit as Beltran admitted that he would prefer a return to the NL, but only to play in left field after spending the recent two seasons playing right field for the Cardinals.
Beltran posted a .296/.339/.491 slash line for the Cardinals last season and is a career .283/.359/.496 hitter, numbers that the Reds could certainly use in their lineup. Cincinnati has the payroll and might be willing to give Beltran what he needs, so they shouldn’t waste any time. Adding him could be the difference between an early exit and a deep run come playoff time.