The case of Carlos Beltran

By Jenifer Langosch/

The Cardinals had four players declare for free agency — Chris Carpenter, Rafael Furcal, Carlos Beltran and Edward Mujica — on Thursday. A fifth joined the market after Jake Westbrook had his mutual option ($9.5 million) declined for a $1 million buyout. Carpenter is expected to retire. The Cardinals do not plan to pursue re-signing Westbrook or Furcal. If Mujica seeks to be paid like a closer, he, too, will not draw the Cardinals’ interest.

And then there is Beltran.

The right fielder, who just completed a two-year, $26-million contract, has expressed interest in returning to the Cardinals. But he has also spoken of his desire to sign a multi-year deal, an understandable request for an aging outfielder. He’ll likely get a few such offers, too, after another productive season. The Cardinals have not shut the door on his return, but they also have three players — Allen Craig, Matt Adams and top prospect Oscar Taveras — who could help them move forward without Beltran.

The first decision the Cardinals will have to make is whether to give Beltran a qualifying offer. They have until 4 p.m. CT on Monday to do so. This offer — a one-year, $14.1 million contract — likely would not be accepted by Beltran as he looks for something longer. By making Beltran a qualifying offer, the Cardinals would at least be guaranteed a compensation-round pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft should he leave.

For more on Beltran’s situation, read this story, which includes comments from the right fielder and GM John Mozeliak.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB


I believe the Cards will make the qualifing offer,only to have Beltran to reject it. I like it for the comp. pick.It seems to me this situation is similar to Lance Berkman a few years back.Let Beltran go and wait and see who comes knocking.Does anyone think the Marlins might deal Stanton?They’re owner says no,but I’m not so sure.He would solve alot of issues along with some infield moves within the organization.That leaves the SS hole to fill.Find a guy with plus defense and we’ll deal with the 230 average

The plan for the Cards offseason 2013:
1) Sign Jacoby Ellsbury to a 7 year 17.5 million dollar per year contract.
2) Give Beltran qualifying offer let him go and collect draft pick.
3) Big time trade- Kolten Wong, Matt Adams, Gast or Lyons for David Price and Yunel Escobar. Tampa gets a proven 1B with power, a young stellar quick second baseman, and a solid young lefty.
4) Trade Lynn for some solid bench players or youngsters. Preferably a Right handed 1B
5) Bring up Taveras to play right field.

That gives you a starting Rotation of
1) Wainwright
2) Price
3) Wacha
4) Garcia
5) Miller
If Garcia can’t not preform you have Kelly available to come up and the rotation looks incredible

Starting line-up
1) Jacoby Ellsbury CF
2) Yunel Escobar SS
3) Matt Carpenter 2B
4) Matt Holliday LF
5) Allen Craig 1B
6) Oscar Taveras RF
7) Yadier Molina C
8) David Freese 3B
9) Pitcher

Jon Jay
Shane Robinson
Daniel Delscaso
Lynn- trade player or players infielder- first baseman- Right handed

Closer- Rosenthal
8th inning- Martinez
Long man- Kelly
Lefty Specilaist- Siegrist
Lefty- Either Gast or Lyons
Righty- Motte
Ground ball specialist- Maness

Plus you have room to trade if injuries occur.

If Freese under preforms you can trade him and a young SP to get a young cheap second baseman like Jose Altuve and have Carpenter play 3B.

1) Ellsbury- Left: .300 hitter 40- 50 SB, 100 Runs, 15 homers, 200 hits
2) Altuve- Right: .285 hitter, 30 SB, 30 doubles
3) Carpenter- Left: .315 hitter, 40 doubles+, 15 homers, 90 RBI
4) Matt Holiday- Right: .300 hitter, 40 doubles+, 20 homers+, 100 RBI
5) Allen Craig- Right: .315+, 30 Doubles, 100 RBI, 15 homers
6) Oscar Taveras- Left: unknown potential
7) Molina- Right: .300+, 30 doubles+, 70 RBI, 12 Homers
8) Escobar- Right: .270, 50 RBI, 10 homers
9) Pitcher

1) 17.5 million
2) 3.2
3) 600 grand
4) 17 million
5) 11 million
6) 500 grand
7) 15 million
8) 5 million
Total salary is 54.6ish next year line-up

Starting Rotation
Wainwright- 20 million
Price- 25 million
Wacha- 500 grand
Garcia- 6 million
Miller- 500 grand
Total Salary is 62ish

Bullpen plus bench equals 7.4ish

In total about 124 million dollar payroll give or take a few.

Humm Rick.Must have time to digest the above.Garcia bounce back is the first Ques. that comes to mind as far as the rotation goes and signing Ellsbury might be an issue money wise. Need more time to ponder,thanks for the effort.

You get an “F” on your prediction report card. Nice try. You are t out on a limb.

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