Feldman: Here's hoping for the return of Carlos Beltran in '14
By Dan Mueller
By Dan Mueller
CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 9: Carlos Beltran #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals grounds out in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on June 9, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) By Jamie Sabau
(BaseballStL) -- It's no secret Cardinals RF Carlos Beltran is a free agent at the end of the year. It's even less of a secret the Cards have a top flight prospect knocking on the door of the big leagues in AAA-Memphis (see: Taveras, Oscar).
Considering the at-bats are already scarce for the likes of Matt Adams - who's presence pushes Allen Craig to the outfield - adding Taveras to the mix would seemingly make the outfield a little bit crowded. Someone may have to go. In fact, it's likely someone will have to.
Here's hoping that someone is not Carlos Beltran.
We're talking about a guy hitting .303 with a team leading 18 home runs (which by the way represents more than 25 percent of the team's total). We're talking about quite possibly the nicest human being who personifies the ultimate teammate. He gives back to the community. He fulfills his media obligations.
Sure, Beltran is 36-years old and one awkward twist of the knee away from his career possibly ending. He can't play center field anymore and has limited mobility in right anyway. He's not what he once was.
That still doesn't change the fact he's arguably the second most valuable player on this team after Yadier Molina. There's a strong argument to be made if Beltran went down this offense would just flat out crumble.
What would a team look like with both Beltran and Taveras here next year? Well, it makes things tricky for Mike Matheny for sure. The situation would be much easier if Taveras shows he can play center field everyday...thus freeing up right for Beltran/Craig. Should Taveras play center on a daily basis, I could envision a four-into-three scenario involving Beltran, Craig, Matt Adams and Matt Holliday between left field, right field and first base.
It is possible. So very possible to have Carlos Beltran and Oscar Taveras on the same team. I hope the Cardinals find a way to make it happen.