(BaseballStL) – Carlos Beltran followed the expected path Monday, turning down the qualifying offer extended his way by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Beltran and 12 others around the league were made qualifying offers- which were one year, $14.1 million contracts- and according to Major League Baseball, all 13 turned them down.
The Cardinals will now receive a compensatory draft pick, somewhere between the first and second round.
Beltran, 36, made it clear he was looking for a multi-year deal for his next contract. He enters free agency as one of the more attractive possibilities for clubs looking for an experienced bat in the lineup.
With Beltran’s offensive numbers still warranting high-dollar consideration, an AL destination is all but assured for the eight-time All Star. The league’s DH position seems tailor-made for the aging slugger.
As for St. Louis, existing outfield depth coupled with the eagerly anticipated arrival of AAA prospect Oscar Taveras made a multi-year deal for Beltran far less necessary for the club. This combined with the recent success of the Cardinals’ farm products made financial stability and an extra draft pick more attractive for GM John Mozeliak.
With one storyline settled, the hot topic for fans and armchair GMs alike- St. Louis’ acquisition of a premier shortstop- now takes center stage in offseason theater.