NJ.COM:

Two days into spring training, Beltran said, he’s feeling good.

“Thank God, I’m 100 percent,” he said Saturday morning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “My knee feels great.”

It’s no secret that we were not fans of the Carlos Beltran signing. However, as long as he’s in the Boogie Down, we certainly hope that his knee holds up — so the early positive news is a good thing.

The main reason for our objection to the signing (besides his age) was that the sharp decline in his defensive abilities were eroding his overall value: 4.3 WAR in 2011, 3.3 WAR in 2012, and 2.0 WAR in 2013.

The man is still an excellent hitter, but by all accounts, the Yankees plan on using Carlos at their regular RF — which is a mistake. Alfonso Soriano is a better outfielder at this point. Here’s a look at Beltran’s fielding decline, which three major defensive metrics all confirm (in runs above/below average):

Beltran Defense NoMaas Yankees
UZR & DRS, courtesy of Fangraphs, TotalZone courtesy of Baseball-Reference

Turning 37 in April, we shouldn’t expect this trend to reverse either. Beltran is clearly better suited to DH, not be an everyday right-fielder.