Cardinals Agree To Two-Year Deal With Carlos Beltran

The Cardinals have addressed the Albert Pujols-sized void in their lineup by agreeing to terms with free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran.  The contract is a two-year, $26MM deal that includes a full no-trade clause and will be finalized once Beltran passes a physical.  Beltran is represented by Dan Lozano.

Beltran, who turns 35 in April, hit .300/.385/.525 in 598 plate appearances for the Mets and Giants in 2011.  It was a solid return to good fitness for the six-time All-Star, who was plagued by knee injuries over the previous two seasons and made only 612 plate appearances combined in 2009-10.  Beltran is slated to play right field in St. Louis until Allen Craig returns from injury, and then Beltran will shift to center field (with Jon Jay still receiving significant playing time).  Beltran is also likely the Cardinals' top DH option during interleague games in American League ballparks.

A contract with a $13MM average annual value and no-trade protection is a very nice win for Beltran and Lozano, especially given that Beltran's market was rather thin as recently as two weeks ago.  Once Michael Cuddyer and Josh Willingham signed, however, interest in Beltran picked up considerably.  Beltran ended up receiving a higher AAV than either Cuddyer ($31.5MM over three years) or Willingham ($21MM over three years) received from the Rockies and Twins, respectively.  The Indians and Blue Jays were considered to be the other finalists for Beltran's services, with the Rays and Red Sox also in the mix.

Though Beltran was a Type A free agent, the Giants will not receive a compensatory draft pick since they weren't allowed to offer him arbitration due to a clause in Beltran's previous contract with the Mets.  The Cardinals, as well, don't have to give up any draft picks for the signing.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was the first to break the story, with Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown and FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal also adding contract details.


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279 Comments on "Cardinals Agree To Two-Year Deal With Carlos Beltran"


3 years 8 months ago

Gee, wow…I really didn’t see this coming. (SARCASM)

JacksTigers
3 years 8 months ago

Gee, wow… I realy didn’t see the sarcasm in your comment. (SARCASM)

grownice
3 years 8 months ago

Sarcasm is better when it’s subtle. 

Madman2TX
3 years 8 months ago

2 yrs at $126 mil per year as a thumb in Pujols eye?

notsureifsrs
3 years 8 months ago

oh come on

so jealous

edit: 25 million? COME ON

Karkat
3 years 8 months ago

BEN. BEN CHERINGTON. WHERE ARE YOU.

MaineSox
3 years 8 months ago

Coco Crisp, here we come.

joeybw
3 years 8 months ago

And that makes it official. Good luck with those knees, Beltran. Please find some one that can actually hit the baseball regularly, Friedman.

3 years 8 months ago

Played 142 games last season…

PWNdroia
3 years 8 months ago

But played that same amount nearly combined in 2009 and 2010, albeit an older player now.

stl_cards16
3 years 8 months ago

“If Beltran signs for 2 years at 8 mil per, it’s going to be the first time in a while I will be very upset with Friedman and think he missed a great opportunity. He’s just gonna resign Damon and Kotchman, watch. I want Pena now but he would just be the next let down.”

There is your post from earlier today.  Now it’s a horrible deal, huh?

joeybw
3 years 8 months ago

Sure is. It aint 2/16, now is it?

brstreet9
3 years 8 months ago

…and you weren’t going to get him for 2/16 either. Cuddyer pretty much made sure of that.

Joe Valenti
3 years 8 months ago

so what you are saying is a injury prone beltran is worth 2/16? sounds like you have no faith in his ability to stay on the field…why dont you just burn $16 MM?

slider32
3 years 8 months ago

I don’t think it was the money for Beltran, it was the location.

Slopeboy
3 years 8 months ago

It was about the money. The location was making the best of a situation. I’d been saying all off season, that Beltran could be had for that exact price. He could not expect 3 yrs @ $15MM per with his age, his reputation and recent history of injury.

It’s been evident by the offers, that this was going to be the best deal his was going to get. The location made it the final point, grass field, great fans, WS champs and the fact that he still carries respect because of his past actions vs STL (’06 not withstanding) Great move on his part. Hope it works out all good!

3 years 8 months ago

And by location, you mean ball club.

slider32
3 years 8 months ago

No turf field and NL Central, I heard that he was offered more money and more years by other teams.

JacksTigers
3 years 8 months ago

Boom! Victoy after one comment. Well done, sir.

catch21_2
3 years 8 months ago

u jelly?

Snoochies8
3 years 8 months ago

good day for baseball news!

good signing by the cards, only a two year deal, possible vesting option?

stl_cards16
3 years 8 months ago

If this is less than $11MM a year it’s a steal.  Like the signing and really like not having the 3rd year.

MacK Korris
3 years 8 months ago

I really doubt it. 2/$23 to 2/$25M is my guess.

stl_cards16
3 years 8 months ago

Probably.  It was just speculated earlier that his offer from the Cardinals could be around $8MM/yr.  If it could somehow be less than $10MM, there will still be some room for another upgrade.

MacK Korris
3 years 8 months ago

That’d be fantastic – and quite similar to Berkman really – but I think $8M was just the original offer to get things rolling. If it’s under $10M I’d be really happy.

MacK Korris
3 years 8 months ago

Tim Brown of Yahoo is reporting a bit more than 2/$25.

3 years 8 months ago

Woooo Hm

Pawapuro
3 years 8 months ago

Good work, Mo.

3 years 8 months ago

I’m happy bout this.

3 years 8 months ago

Anything under ~$14M/year for only two years has to be considered a big win.

catch21_2
3 years 8 months ago

Two year deal should work out well for both sides.  The Cardinals get hopefully the last couple really good years he has left, while Beltran gets a chance to win a ring. Win-win for each party.

Fangaffes
3 years 8 months ago

That’s a relief.  I was afraid the Red Sox would do something dumb, like try to play him in right field at Fenway.

vonhayesdays
3 years 8 months ago

no right field is bigger than at&t and beltran played well there 

Aj
3 years 8 months ago

Cards made a great deal!!!

JacksTigers
3 years 8 months ago

Good move by the Cards.

3 years 8 months ago

hoping this turns out to be as beautiful as the Berkman deal was last year any estimate what the price was

joeybw
3 years 8 months ago

If the Cards got him for cheap…..

Ugh, why must we have turf?

Red_Line_9
3 years 8 months ago

Some genius needs to invent a retractable playing surface.

Blue387
3 years 8 months ago

I was hoping he would go to an American League team. He could be transitioned to be a designated hitter. I also don’t want to see the Mets face him.

SixtoLezcano
3 years 8 months ago

Hey, that replaces Albert Pujols!

Oh wait, no it doesn’t.  I’m sorry.

bighiggy
3 years 8 months ago

it sure helps, who out there for the money that he will get would produce more, no one!  everyone is a hater!

SixtoLezcano
3 years 8 months ago

Coco Crisp?  Josh Willingham would have been a smarter signing.  Lots of 3 WAR outfielders out there this season.  Unless Beltran comes with a time machine.

3 years 8 months ago

Crisp, Willingham… Joke! Cards got the best available player.

bighiggy
3 years 8 months ago

really coco crisp? a .314 on base, really? and willingham, didnt he bat .248 last year, yeah much better!

AndySTL
3 years 8 months ago

josh willingham is a bum

Matt Talken
3 years 8 months ago

They’re all 3 WAR guys?

WAR – last year
Willingham — 2.1Crisp — 2.2
Beltran — 4.7

WAR – Career Average
Willingham — 1.9
Crisp — 2.4
Beltran — 4.4

Also, Crisp doesn’t really fit the Cardinals needs.  They’re looking for another middle of the order bat.  Willingham is certainly a better option than Crisp, but Beltran still slugs 20 points higher than Willingham.  

Furthermore, Beltran will split time in both Right and Center with Craig and Jay (and offensively, at least, will be our best CF option by far).  Willingham, from his baseball-ref page seemingly hasn’t played an inning in CF in his career.

Beltran’s only knock is the injury risk, but he should get plenty of days off with the aforementioned Craig and Jay taking quite a few starts.  As long as Beltran doesn’t suffer from some freak injury (meaning one that didn’t happen due to playing day after day after day, but one that could’ve happened to anyone), Beltran and the Cardinals probably represented the best fit for each other.

3 years 8 months ago

Try looking at WAR/PA.  It will blow your mind!  (Crisp was a better choice for St. Louis)

bighiggy
3 years 8 months ago

if i was a brewers fan i would have wanted the cards to sign crisp too, but im a cards fan and they signed the better of the 2

Kendall Adkins
3 years 8 months ago

If any stat says Crisp is better than Beltran, it is a stupid stat… 

Matt Talken
3 years 8 months ago

Even if WAR/PA says Crisp is better, he doesn’t fit their needs.  They weren’t looking for a top of the lineup guy, they were looking for a middle of the lineup guy, and Crisp with his .406 slugging wasn’t what the Cardinals needed.

I am curious though.  I go to fangraphs or baseball-reference for my baseball stats, and neither has a stat for WAR/PA.  Are you just taking total WAR and dividing it by PA’s or is there a site that actually breaks it down per plate appearance?

Andy_B
3 years 8 months ago

Josh Willingham would have been a smarter signing?  Really?  Come on.

vonhayesdays
3 years 8 months ago

im no hater, good signing 

Kendall Adkins
3 years 8 months ago

I agree with you on that, but I think we should win more games next year than last year. 

bjsguess
3 years 8 months ago

This was a solid signing for the Cards. No it won’t come close to replacing Albert but the fact is that nobody could (argument possibly for Prince). 

In any event, the dollars and years all make sense. The two parties need each other and a reasonable expectation of 3 wins/season for Beltran sounds right.

I think the Cards were fools for not bringing Pujols back but this is definitely a step in the right direction to fend off the Reds.

Cards_Fanboy
3 years 8 months ago

Beltran+Craig+Wainwright > Jay+Pujols+Jackson

if all healthy

Andy_B
3 years 8 months ago

Albert’s wOBA last year .385
Beltran’s wOBA last year .389

If Beltran can play an adequate center in playoff games and occasionally throughout the year I’d argue that the cardinals are better suited for a playoff run this year than last.

slider32
3 years 8 months ago

If Beltran stays healthy he will be just what the doctor ordered.

Ferrariman
3 years 8 months ago

When Craig gets back, this is still possibly the strongest lineup in the NL

Furcal
Craig/Beltran
Holliday
Berkman
Freese
Craig/
Molina

3 years 8 months ago

Better in the same division:

Hart
Morgan
Braun
A-Ram
Weeks
Gamel
Lucroy

jhfdssdaf
3 years 8 months ago

Brewers aren’t better at every position, but 51 games into the season they will certainly have a better overall lineup.

AndySTL
3 years 8 months ago

gamel has done nothing…nyjer morgan is a cancer

DT Flush234
3 years 8 months ago

– Braun for 50 games. He cheated.

Flharfh
3 years 8 months ago

You mean he’s a cancer that managed a .778 OPS and 4 WAR in 430 PAs, right?

AndySTL
3 years 8 months ago

lets see what happens this year without his buddy prince…nyjer morgan is a disgrace to the game…i wish chris volstad/gaby snachez/jayson werth wouldve knocked him out…he was on 3 teams in a span of 8 months…just wait, his anger problems will arise soon

Cardinals06
3 years 8 months ago

He means as in a cancer who likes to open his mouth, that gets him in trouble a lot. I recall him saying that the Cardinals would be watching the Brewers in the playoffs, wonder how crow tasted to Morgan when his words cameback to bite him. And then eatting the wall, when Pujols (if I recall right) hit a ball to cf that Morgan over ran and went into the wall. Classic …. Morgan.

3 years 8 months ago

Yeah maybe Pujols will hit another one out to him… oh, wait.  Pujols ditched St. Louis.  Sorry :(

bighiggy
3 years 8 months ago

yeah and braun’s gonna miss 50 games! every team has problems! pujols leaving doesnt make your team better

JamesOrLurch
3 years 8 months ago

Maybe Fielder can make up for the time Braun will miss due to him cheating…. oh wait, Fielder ditched Milwaukee. Sorry :(

Cards_Fanboy
3 years 8 months ago

Or maybe Beltran.

Matt Talken
3 years 8 months ago

Not to argue, but it will be interesting to see which Nyjer Morgan you get.

The one who put up monster years with both the Nationals and Brewers the first year or the guy who couldn’t even get it together with Pittsburgh and was pretty mediocre in his 2nd year in Washington.

Given his attitude (and my bias as a Cardinals fan), I don’t see the way he acted last year as being a changed person because he was in a winning situation, but rather that his new teammates still found his schtick amusing and charming.  Will they still find it amusing in year 2?  It’s certainly something that could be a big part in telling the story of the 2012 Brewers.  Getting another 4 WAR or better season out of Morgan would be huge and could help them in what looks like it could be a tight race.  Getting a 1 WAR season from him could be enough to sink their chances, especially with Fielder likely gone and Braun out for 50.

YanksFanSince78
3 years 8 months ago

As long as whatever cancer he has doesn’t effect his hitting ability then l’chaim.

Gabraham
3 years 8 months ago

Hart > Furcal
Morgan Holliday
Ramirez < Berkman
Weeks = Freese
Gamel < Craig
Lucroy < Molina

Cards: 3
Brewers: 3

Looks fairly comparable to me, not really better.

3 years 8 months ago

Aside from the fact that what you just did is the silliest “analysis” ever, Weeks = Freese?  LOL

jhfdssdaf
3 years 8 months ago

Freese Career line: .298/.354/.429
Weeks Career line: .255/.354/.435

I wouldn’t necessarily agree, but the comparison is relatively fair.

FrankTheFunkasaurusRex
3 years 8 months ago

Freese has done it in 667 PAs, with a .365 BABIP. Good luck sustaining those numbers.

jhfdssdaf
3 years 8 months ago

I don’t think them equal, but the “LOL” comment was extreme.  You can have a valid discussion of which of the two is better… that’s not true at every position in his comparison.

Rabbitov
3 years 8 months ago

The discussion would be like:

Who is better Weeks or Freese?

Weeks.

End of discussion. 

Cards_Fanboy
3 years 8 months ago

Better question is who is better in the playoffs, Weeks or Freese? Weeks.  End of discussion.

Rabbitov
3 years 8 months ago

That’s not a better question at all.  If the question was who is better in the playoffs, Freese obviously would be better right now.  Weeks is still the better player overall, and its not even close.

Cards_Fanboy
3 years 8 months ago

Yea I know I was just kiddin.  Freese was obviously better in the playoffs.  I think it’s too soon to decide who is better overall between the two though.  Freese hasn’t played more than 100 games in 1 season yet in the majors yet, but him and Weeks have very similar stat lines so far.

The_BiRDS
3 years 8 months ago

I see you’re still studying math.. by your calculations its actually cards 4 brewers 2.. let’s,not forget Brauns 50 game suspension and the fact that holiday had 7 injuries last year and is now in his prime.. oh yeah.. Wainwright is back too? brewers have no choice but to make a move for dominate player otherwise they are stuck in 3rd place for a while..

Gabraham
3 years 8 months ago

haha. Nice save.  Math never was my strong suit.  You make a good point on the Holliday v. Braun thing.  I’m a Cardinals fan like yourself.  I didn’t want to be bias, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

3 years 8 months ago

First 50 games:

Hart>Furcal
Morgan<Beltran
Ramirez<Holliday
Weeks<Berkman
Gamel<Freese
Gomez<Craig
Lucroy<Molina
Gonzalez<Schumaker

7-1 Cardinals by my calculations.

slider32
3 years 8 months ago

Adam Wainwright is the key player with the Cards next year, if he comes back strong they are a better team.

Cardinals06
3 years 8 months ago

But, Braun looks like he’ll miss the 1st 50 games. So, that will hurt the Brewers.

Jdobb
3 years 8 months ago

LOL!!!

Kendall Adkins
3 years 8 months ago

Umm… no? Braun plays a max of 112 games next year, so you figure what, like 20 home runs 60-70 RBIs. We have 4 guys that can do that, and then some. 

jhfdssdaf
3 years 8 months ago

Last year, the Cardinals offense was better than the Brewers (scoring 40 more runs).  The Cardinals replaced Pujols with Beltran.  The Brewers replaced Fielder with Ramirez. Loss versus replacement is pretty much a wash.

I think that the Brewers offense is marginally better solely due to a decline in Berkman’s production.

Of course, if Braun is suspended, the Cardinals are clearly better until he returns.

Andy_B
3 years 8 months ago

Lol the only hitter on that team that is better than the cardinals hitters won’t be playing for the first 50 games.  And who knows how good he’ll be off the juice.

Milwaukee mortgaged their future for their chance last year, you can fight the pirates for third place now.