Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran can block trades to 15 clubs under the terms of his limited no-trade clause, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, who explores the possibility of a deal involving the veteran. Among the teams to which Beltran could be dealt without consent are the Indians, Nationals, Royals, Cardinals, Rays, Tigers, and Dodgers, per the report.
Of course, it’s far from clear whether New York will end up entertaining such a move. The club has moved back to within striking distance in the AL East already, and there’s plenty of time left before the deadline.
Parting with Beltran wouldn’t necessarily mean abandoning hope for the present season, Olney suggests. Shipping him out would free up opportunities for highly-regarded young players such as Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge. They could be expected to provide value now while helping prepare for bigger roles in 2017 and beyond.
It’s fair to wonder just how much trade value Beltran would carry. On the one hand, he recently turned 39 and is a subpar outfielder (especially if one credits Defensive Runs Saved). On the other, he’s a highly respected veteran who is currently running out a productive .274/.299/.522 batting line, largely matching his overall production levels from last season (about 20% above league average).
Salary will certainly play a role, too, as Beltran is owed a healthy $15MM this season before reaching free agency at year’s end. Whether or not the market is receptive to that overall package remains to be seen, but presumably the Yankees won’t make a move unless they receive some kind of interesting return (barring a full-blown collapse in the next two months). That’s especially true given the uncertainty of Hicks and Judge as well as the fact that aging sluggers Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez come with their own blend of health, age, and performance questions.