According to George King of the New York Post, the Boston Red Sox are pursuing free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran.
Beltran was said to be a high priority for the New York Yankees this off-season and the interest was expected to be mutual between the 36-year old and the Bronx Bombers. With the Red Sox now entering the mix and possibly the Baltimore Orioles as well according to King, the bidding war could become pricey for the slugging Beltran.
Any team that does sign Beltran will be forced to compensate a draft pick to the St. Louis Cardinals since the club offered him a qualifying offer of $14.1 million that he is naturally expected to turn down.
Given his age, 37 next April, Beltran could be considered a risky move for any type of multi-year deal, one that will come with a hefty price-tag.
Last season he hit .296 with 24 homers, 84 RBIs and an OPS of .830. While he could fill the void in the outfield, if Jacoby Ellsbury signs elsewhere, the Red Sox should proceed with caution on Beltran given his age and depending on where the bidding war soars to.
There are other options on the free-agent market that are younger and while they may not bring the power that Beltran has, it could make for an interesting argument as to why or if the Sox should pursue other opportunities.
King’s post stated that the Red Sox were aggressively pursuing Beltran but contrary to that, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, via Twitter, reports a team source has confirmed the interest, although wouldn’t consider it aggressive.