Carlos Beltran is undoubtedly one of the most coveted players on the free agent market. He is expected to generate interest from multiple top teams, and it sounds like the World Series champion Boston Red Sox are in that group.
The New York Post’s George A. King III reported on Thursday night that the Sox have made an aggressive push for Beltran. The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles are also interested in Beltran, but King says the interest from the Sox has been the strongest so far.
Beltran is turning 37 in April but coming off two highly successful seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. He has posted an OPS of at least .830 the past two seasons, in addition to playing well in right field. He also has been an absolute beast in the postseason.
One of the issues for those three teams is figuring out how Beltran will fit into their roster. Boston has Shane Victorino in right and a platoon of Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes in left. They will likely lose Jacoby Ellsbury in free agency and would have to replace him. They could move Victorino to center and put Beltran in right. The Yankees similarly have Brett Gardner and Alfonso Soriano, and they’re waiting to see whether Curtis Granderson will accept his qualifying offer.
Beltran received a qualifying offer for $14.1 million from the Cardinals, so the team that signs him would have to forfeit a draft pick if he turns down the qualifying offer. That probably wouldn’t be an issue for the Sox, who will receive a pick as compensation from the team that signs Ellsbury.
In addition, reports say the Red Sox are also interested in pitcher Tim Hudson, who is recovering from surgery to repair a broken ankle and ligament. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the interest between Hudson and the Sox is mutual. The market for him could be stronger because he did not receive a qualifying offer from the Braves, which means the team that signs him would not have to surrender a draft pick.
The Sox would look even tougher heading into next season if they’re able to add both players, which seems like a strong possibility.Google+