According to a SiriusXM report, Cardinals OF Carlos Beltran has already received one contract offer from a club besides St. Louis.
No terms were mentioned.
It will be interesting, as this plays out, to see what Beltran's priorities are. Most assume money is always the determining factor when it comes to matters of free agency. But Beltran said he took less money and years from the Cardinals in 2012 because he wanted to play for a winner.
If having a chance to make it back to the World Series is a priority, the Cardinals will have strong pull for Beltran because they're in a position to keep almost the entire club that made it to the Fall Classic in 2013 intact for a second bite at the apple.
St. Louis made Beltran a qualifying offer of about $14.1 million for 2014 which guarantees him a small raise and a chance to finish uncompleted business. If the Cardinals offered Beltran that much plus a vesting option for 2014 at about $15 million, it would be hard to imagine another team blowing away that deal. Beltran is going to be 37 next year and, although he was pretty healthy the last two seasons, he's dealt with significant knee problems in the recent past. Is another team really going to offer him three years and $45 million?
The Redbirds' biggest worry is that it's not money or a chance to win that motivates Beltran, but guaranteed playing time.
Beltran wants to make a run at the Hall of Fame and thinks it will take three more good seasons to have a legitimate bid. What he doesn't want is to become a platoon player in right field for St. Louis. And he has commented that he feels if a team pays him a substantial amount of money that it isn't likely to stash him on the bench.
While the Cardinals outfield picture could be crowded with top prospect Oscar Taveras making a play for the big leagues in 2014, Taveras could play centerfield for the next couple of years. And I still believe the Redbirds are a better team with Beltran in right and Allen Craig at first base than they are with Craig in right and Matt Adams at first.