One of the positions on the Detroit Tigers' wish list this off season is corner outfielder, preferably one who can hit. According to Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora, the Tigers have joined a list of several teams who have reached out to one of the most experienced outfielders in free agency, Carlos Beltran.
Beltrán dijo que todavía no evalúa ofertas económicas específicas, pero su agente Danny Lozano le ha revelado que equipos como los Tigres de Detroit y los Rojos de Cincinnati se han sumado a la lista de los que han llamado para preguntar por sus servicios.
Beltran said there is still assessing specific economic deals, but his agent Danny Lozano has revealed that teams like the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds have joined the list of those who have called to inquire about their services.
Beltran says he has no preference as to his next team, but does add a pair of caveats:
"No hay preferencia. Digo, me gusta la Costa Este porque los viajes son más cortos. Y me encantaría volver a la Liga Nacional porque llevo los últimos años ahí.
"No preference. I mean, I like the East Coast because the trips are shorter. And I would love to stay in the National League, been there the past few years."
Beltran adds he anticipates signing with his new team by mid-December, which would place it during baseball's Winter Meetings. Coming off a two-year, $26 million dollar deal with the Cardinals, the 36-year-old Beltran will likely be inking his final big league contract.
Along with the Tigers and Reds, other teams reportedly interested in Beltran are the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals. The Yankees are rumored to be the leading suitor for Beltran's services, the sticking point being a his request for a three-year deal, which would give any team pause.
Beltran is coming off a solid .296/.339/.491 All-Star season, adding 24 home runs and 84 RBIs. His .830 OPS would have been only behind Miguel Cabrera on the 2013 Tigers. If Beltran did sign with the Tigers, he would have to switch outfield positions, moving from right to left field.
In our series of possible off season targets, Rob makes a case for Beltran being an excellent fit on the Tigers' roster.
Beltran has hardly missed a beat as he transitions into his late 30s. He hit .282/.343/.493 with 56 home runs in his two years in St. Louis. His .357 wOBA, 129 wRC+, and .211 ISO during that span are excellent offensive numbers for a player in his late 20s, let alone a guy that was 36 years old in 2013. Additionally, there aren't many signs (if any) that Beltran is slowing down. He has always been a good contact hitter, striking out in just under 16% of his career plate appearances with a line drive rate just shy of 20%. Hitting for contact is a tool that generally ages well -- see: Martinez, Victor -- meaning Beltran's production shouldn't fall off at the drop of a hat.