Age isn’t going to stand in the way of Carlos Beltran and getting what might be his last big major league contract. The Texas Rangers would want to keep him, while the Boston Red Sox are interested in signing him as well.
The Red Sox need a big bat to replace David Ortiz, or at least they’re giving that kind of impression. Beltran will be 40 next April, but the nine-time All-Star had a terrific 2016, in which he switched from the New York Yankees to the Rangers. He didn’t do as well in Texas, but overall finished with 29 home runs (best since 2012) while batting .295 and posting a .850 OPS, appearing in 151 games.
It’s hard to see a NL team going after Beltran. His defense, even in the outfield, isn’t that bad, and yet he’s not exactly an everyday kind of player in the National League. He appeared in 151 games last season, splitting his time more or less between DH and the right field. The Red Sox and the Rangers mostly plan to use him as a designated hitter, but on days they’d like to give other players some rest, Beltran can do a decent job in the outfield.
Beltran is probably going to wait until things are figured out with the likes of Yoenis Cespedes, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista before Beltran gets his deal. The Red Sox are rumored to be interested in Encarnacion, which makes sense. Last season everyone waited for Chris Davis to sign his deal with the Baltimore Orioles before things got moving. Aroldis Chapman will hold up the pitcher’s market, Encarnacion with the big hitters.
Beltran has been in the majors since 1998, spending 14 of his seasons with the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets. He’s had something of a renaissance over the last couple of years in New York, which should help him land a nice deal before retirement. He made $15 million in 2016.