Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why the Cardinals should pass on extending Carlos Beltran.

About a year and a half ago, the Cardinals were in a bind, they had just lost their icon, Albert Pujols, to the Los Angeles Angels and needed to find someone to replace him.  Two weeks later, they signed Carlos Beltran.  Little did they know at the time, but in the 1 1/2 season since then, Beltran would actually out produce Pujols, hitting .282/.347/.512 with 50 homers to Pujols' .275/.338/.491 with 43 homers.

Now that Beltran is facing his own contract year with the Cardinals, there has been a general groundswell of support for signing Beltran to an extension.

It started with Beltran's own admission that he wants to stay in St. Louis, saying "I really love playing here. There's no doubt about it. I experienced something here last year that I hadn't experienced in a long time. It was a good clubhouse and so many good people, playing in front of these fans. They really support you when you do well and when you do terrible. It's a great feeling. Playing in a city like this, it makes everything easy."

From there Bernie Miklasz jumped on the bandwagon, saying "put me in the pro-Beltran camp, at least for now."

He has since been joined by the likes of Corey Rudd ( and Cardinals fans on message boards.

It seems like every Cardinals fan believes the team should bring back Beltran...except me.

I think it would be a mistake for the Cards to bring Beltran back, for the following reasons:


Beltran turns 37 next April 24 and while his age may not show in his current stats (.308/.349/.546), you can see it taking a toll on his body.  Knee problems may have led to his poor second half last season and he wasn't 100% at the start of this season due to a broken toe.

As we saw with Lance Berkman, after the Cardinals signed him to an extension after his stellar 2010 season, a player past his prime with previous knee problems is a high-risk proposition.

In addition, unless you are a 'roid enhanced guy like Barry Bonds, baseball skills generally decline with age.  So, while Beltran may be performing well this season, the chances of a repeat are slim.

The Outfield Logjam

Heading into next season, the Cardinals could have 5 players--Matt Holliday, John Jay, Oscar Taveras, Allen Craig and Matt Adams vying for 4 spots (including first base).  Add Beltran to that mix and things really get crowded.

Taveras, when healthy, looks like he can step in and contribute right away.  Other than his first season with the Cardinals Dominican League team, Taveras has hit above .300 each season and is starting to show the power that everyone has said would come.  Between him and Adams, the Cardinals should be able to replace a good portion of the offense that Beltran has provided.

Team Philosophy

As Bill Baer of ESPN points out, the Cardinals have played it smart when building their teams over the years.  General Manager John Mozeliak has, mostly, "eschewed expensive, long-term free-agent contracts in favor of young, cost-controlled players from within the organization, short-term free-agent contracts and contract extensions for key players such as catcher Yadier Molina."

Beltran is an example of a short-term free-agent signing by the Cards and while it might make some sense to bring back Beltran on another short-term (preferably one year) contract, what it really comes down to is...


Beltran is making $13 million this year and it would probably take a similar amount to bring him back for another year.  After signing Adam Wainwright to a 5-year, $97.5 million extension in March, the Cardinals are probably looking to save money elsewhere and Beltran is one luxury they can do without.

Take that money and apply it to other areas of need, such as shortstop or some bullpen help, and the Cards will come out ahead, just like they did when Pujols left.

Bottom line, unless Beltran is willing to take a one-year deal at a steep discount, that both limits the Cardinals risk while also allowing them to address other areas of need, the Cardinals should thank him for his service to the team and move on after this season.


  1. they should let him retire as a st Louis cardinal

  2. You are wrong! Beltran still has a couple of good years and his chances of repeat performances are very good! He has taken very good care of himself and is still an excellent fielder and hitter. In a must need hit situation, I would rather have Carlos up to bat than any of those five players you listed above!

    1. I think he forgot that CB on the win or go home game last year vs Nationals he reach base 5 times a perfect night and he start the comeback in the 9 inning with a double and thanks was a double cause Holliday ground out to 3rd base and with a good base running by Carlos he reach 3rd base next Craig struck out chasing a ball that was obvious that was a ball and any of the pitch's was strike by fox box, clearly he want to walk him and pitch to Molina and Freese but Drew didnt know that Molina is a catcher and he know the ump zone and walk as well Freese the rest is history as one of the greatest comeback in post season history. Knowing that you type a report that like u say no one agree with u, saying that 2 players will fill Carlos ofense. Do you want Taveras in RF in a important game? Is hard to let go a player that is on the top ten in offense and one of the best switch hitter with power from both side.

  3. Agreed. We've got other guys that can produce, and the money is better spent on someone less than 37 without knee issues.

  4. Let him take Wiggy's spot on the bench. Beltan's bat is still hot. I could see 6 to 7 mil. a year for at least a year. He's one of those players that you just don't want to face at the plate late in a close game.

    1. Why u care about the money is not yours and he is not looking to be wealthy he have money already he care about his legacy to be a example of those kids coming up.

  5. Your an idiot the cardinals need to resign him no one can replace Beltran in the outfield he has the most home runs. Oscar Taveras can not come close to produce as much as Beltran this is why Oscar Taveras is in the minor league and Carlos Beltran is in the major league the only one who can come close is Allen Craig and we need him at first I can not see Allen Craig playing right and Matt Adams starting first Carlos Beltran is a million times better than Matt Adams he can hit better then Adams and has more power Beltran can field better than Craig and has more speed and a better arm Beltran produces more then everyone on the team besides Molina your a stupid idiot and we need to resign him

  6. Thank God MO is the GM Beltran he still play at high level the team have struggle on ofense but that will comeback. I ask my self if Taveras is ready for the Big League he have weak ankles, and I doubt that Taveras will out play Carlos in both side defense and ofense, if u look how many runs Carlos aloud this season is amazing from a player that is call old every day by the way just 1 run on the last game of the first half vs Cubs but he triple at the 9 inning and Craig bring him home one out after that Molina put the game out reach. Is easy find a young player that play and put good numbers but is very hard to find a veteran player that put better numbers of the player he is replacing letting know us Cards fans that is life after Pujols, also when Carlos or since he is in the line up Craig Molina and Jay ofense have improved by a big margen so why no keep him and sign him now and motivated him and the team.