(BaseballSTL) -- It wasn’t enough for the Boston Red Sox to beat the Cardinals in the World Series, now they’re going to take away Carlos Beltran also? It looks like that might happen.
Beltran, who became a free agent at the end of the season, is expected to turn down the Cardinals $14.1 million qualifying offer Monday. He’s drawing strong interest from the Red Sox.
The Cardinals would like to have Beltran back, but not on a multi-year contract. Beltran will turn 37 in April and the Cardinals have highly touted prospect Oscar Taveras ready to step in and play right field.
“We never want to close doors,” said Cards General Manager John Mozeliak. “Reality is when you look at the depth, trying to find ample playing time. I’m not sure how happy (Beltran) will be.”
Beltran hit .294 for the Cardinals this season, and delivered many key hits in the postseason.
“I reminded him what an incredible season he had for us,” Manager Mike Matheny said. “We don’t know how this whole thing is going to play out.”
Things could happen quickly for Beltran. The general managers meetings begin on Monday in Orlando, Florida. The Red Sox primary competition for Beltran’s services appears to be the New York Yankees. Both teams would love to plug Beltran into their lineup, and both franchises have big dollars to throw at him.
The Red Sox may be losing their own free agent center fielder, Jacoby Ellsbury. He’s expected to command a contract in the neighborhood of $100 million. That might be a little too rich for the Cardinals budget but he would fit nicely here as a replacement for Jon Jay. Signing Ellsbury would also make Cardinal fans feel better about losing Beltran to the team that has beaten them twice in the World Series in the last 10 years.