Carlos Beltran looking for three- or four-year deal, and likely a new team

A week into the offseason, six teams have expressed varying degrees of interest in Beltran, a number that is likely to grow in a free-agent market that offers Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo as the big-ticket outfielders and then Beltran as the three- or four-year alternative. That’s right, according to sources, Beltran is no longer on the two-year plan he was after the 2011 season, though he remains adamant that he will go to a place where October baseball is most plentiful.

Let’s not get carried away with Beltran’s postseason heroics, because he is clearly declining, as expected with a soon-to-be 37-year old. While he still possesses a very good bat, his defense has been deteriorating hard over the past 3 seasons. He is a very poor outfielder now, and it’s significantly affected his overall value.

In 2011, Beltran was worth 4.3 WAR. In 2012, he was worth 3.3 WAR. In 2013, he was worth 2.0 WAR. And the main culprit for this decline in value is, again, his defense. He’s a DH now. The Yankees don’t need another old DH type, especially in a 3-4 year contract! At some point this team needs to re-invent the wheel.

For those curious, we will be highlighting the free agents we would sign, even though our absolute preference is to rebuild.