Saturday, December 24, 2011

Transaction Reaction: Carlos Beltran

The Cardinals signed OF Carlos Beltran for 2 years, $26 million dollars.

  • There's a new "mang" in town. I thought it would take a 3-year commitment to land Beltran, so kudos to the Cardinals' front office for upping the annual value and offering the no trade clause to make this work.
  • The Cardinals are going to be really good in 2012, even without Pujols. Many of Beltran's rate stats were even higher than Pujols' in 2011, so if the Cards can keep Beltran on the field consistently they will be very successful. Jonah Keri of Grantland stated after the Latos trade that the Cardinals were still the favorite in the division, even if they don't make any other moves. Keri be darned, Mo went out and added the second best bat available. The only negative is that the Cardinals will be relying on several players who have missed significant time to injury over the past few years. However, their bench also looks to be strong enough to fill in, much like they did in 2011.
  • This move also gives the Cardinals more flexibility, and the opportunity to improve the defense. Berkman will be shifting to first to fill the void left by Pujols, so Beltran and Craig will be getting most of the time in right field. I expect Beltran to get about 50 games in CF, but his exposure will definitely be limited to smaller parks, favorable pitching matchups.
  • Lastly, don't listen to the narrative about Beltran being a retread. Beltran had one major surgery a few years ago, and has been a consistently elite player since he came back. He logged more innings than anyone in the Cardinals' outfield last year. His age and health is a factor, but his talent should be the story, as evidenced by his OPS and OPS+ that were near the best in the league in 2011.

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