Sunday, December 25, 2011

$26 Million For Carlos Beltran? Nationals Lucked Out

There were a lot of Nationals' fans unhappy with the team last winter when they signed outfielder Jayson Werth to that 7-year, $126 million contract. 

Unhappy not because they got Werth, who was and continues to be a quality major league outfielder. It was that contract that left a bad taste in the mouths of so many fans.

That wasn't a bad contract. You maybe could call in questionable, but not bad.

The contract that the St. Louis Cardinals gave Carlos Beltran a couple of days ago--now that was a bad contract. And really, that could have been Washington who, fearing that they would not be able to fill a hole in their lineup for 2012--gave an aging star far too much in return for what probably will be far too little.

Bad contract, man. I'm talking $26 million bad.

There is no question that Beltran was at one time a premier player. From 1999 through 2008--playing for both the Royals and the Mets, he averaged .281/.357/.497 with 29 home runs, 108 RBI and 30 steals. 

But injuries limited both his effectiveness and his playing time in 2009 and 2010. The 34-year-old averaged just 72 games per season and hit .295-17-75. Yes, he rebounded in 2011,batting .300-22-84, using a combination of health and his own personal fountain of youth.

That said, there is no way that Beltran is worth $13 million a year.

The Cardinals, still hurting over the loss of Albert Pujols to the Angels, decided to sign someone quick, anyone, to replace him. 

That turned out to be Beltran.

Sure, there is a chance that Beltran hits .300 and hits another 24 homers like he did last year, but is that worth $13 million? No way. 

In the end, that is just too much money for too many expectations and not enough talent left in the tank.

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