(KMOV) – The Cardinals have made their biggest signing this offseason. Outfielder Carlos Beltran has signed with the Cards for two-years for $26 million. The now former “Cardinal Killer” is going to bring a lot to a team that will be without Albert Pujols for the first time in 11 years. He adds some depth to the lineup, will be a good presence in the clubhouse, allows for the Cardinals to be creative in the outfield, and, most importantly, will help the Cards win.
Beltran is going to be 35-years-old in April, so the Cardinals more than likely won’t be getting that young Beltran who is going to knockout 30 homeruns; then again we said that about Lance Berkman. Regardless, Beltran adds depth to the lineup, especially if he has a year like he did last year. Splitting playing time between the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants, Beltran hit .300 with 22 HRs and 84 RBI.
A good clubhouse personality is always an important feature to have in a player. When Beltran was traded from the Mets to the Giants last season, he went into the Mets clubhouse and shook everyone’s hand and said “thank you.” When he got to the San Francisco, Giants closer Brian Wilson was happy to have him saying “having a guy like Beltran obviously adds a lot of positive energy.”
New manager Mike Matheny is going to be able to be creative with his outfield because of the addition of Beltran. With Allen Craig expected to miss the first month of the season because of knee surgery, Beltran is going to be playing a lot of right field. When Craig does return you will still see Beltran playing plenty of right field but expect Beltran to get his fair share of time in center. Beltran, a switch-hitter, will most likely get the start against left-handed pitchers over the left-handed hitting Jon Jay.
A lineup that has Matt Holliday, Berkman, and David Freese is a good team and as long as that lineup could stay healthy, there's a chance it sits atop the NL Central. However, when you add Beltran you have made your team better. With Beltran not only is this team scary in the Central and the favorite to win the divison but will be scary in the 2012 playoffs.
by Michael Swallow, KMOV.com