I know, business is business. Carlos Beltran has declined the St. Louis Cardinals’ one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer for 2014. The other 12 free agents around the majors who were made the same offer also turned it down.
However, there is still a chance that the Cardinals will offer Beltran, 36, a one- or multi-year contract. He hit 24 home runs and batted .296 last season and was a postseason standout (as usual) who made his first trip to the World Series.
Cards GM John Mozeliak has said that he wanted first baseman Matt Adams to get 500 or 600 at-bats, which would mean Allen Craig would switch from first to right field, Beltran’s position. And of course Oscar Taveras, who was injured last summer, is nicknamed “Baby Vlad,” after former major league all-star Vladimir Guerrero.
There is no guarantee that Taveras is fully ready for the majors at this point or that Adams will flourish over the course of an entire season. Injuries limited to Taveras to 188 at-bats last year. His natural position is right, but he could switch to center.
Although it would be nice if somehow the Cardinals could sign Beltran to a modest two-year offer, keeping his seasoned and still-productive bat in the lineup. But it probably won’t happen.