Is Carlos Beltran an option for the Braves?

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Now that we have finished up the OF Trade Targets series I thought we could move on to some outfielders who are free agents this off season. The hottest player at the trade deadline, Carlos Beltran seems to be getting little attention despite a really good comeback season last year with a .300/.385/.525 slash, 22 home runs, and a .225 ISO in 142 games.

For a player coming off that good of a season it is a wonder that he has no market right now… or maybe the injuries have something to do with it. Yep, that is probably the biggest reason he doesn’t have a flurry of teams looking into him with a weak free agent outfield class.

So why not have the Braves make an offer? The were (reportedly) interested in him at the tread deadline so why shouldn’t they now? With a pretty thin market we might even be able to get him for a bargain. Zack pointed out that he has always hit well at Turner Field so he might have a serious interest in coming to play for Atlanta.

Beltran is a switch hitting former center fielder who loves to bat in the second spot in the lineup. He can still hit the long ball and he will probably be a pretty good left fielder. A lineup featuring Beltran is a pretty awesome idea and you really have a lot of middle of the order bats involved.

projecting lineups, looking at Beltran’s numbers over the years, and the ideal hypothetical situation with Chipper, Beltran, and Prado after the break…

  1. Bourn
  2. Beltran
  3. Jones
  4. McCann
  5. Uggla
  6. Freeman
  7. Heyward
  8. Pasto

or

  1. Bourn
  2. Beltran
  3. McCann
  4. Uggla
  5. Jones
  6. Freeman
  7. Heyward
  8. Pasto

or if Heyward comes back and Beltran shows some age…

  1. Bourn
  2. Heyward
  3. Jones
  4. McCann
  5. Uggla
  6. Freeman
  7. Beltran
  8. Pasto

You have a ton of options for a dynamic line up and all of the ones above were without Martin Prado involved. I think an offer for Beltran would be a smart move, if we started low and gauged the market for him. I definitely don’t think it is wise to invest a lot of money in an older injury prone player but if there isn’t a ton of interest than we could be making the best deal of the off season.

Beltran’s past few years:

Year Games AVG OBP SLG HR ISO
2007 144 .276 .353 .525 33 .249
2008 161 .284 .376 .500 27 .216
2009 81 .325 .415 .500 10 .175
2010 64 .255 .341 .427 7 .173
2011 142 .300 .385 .525 22 .225
Averages 118 .288 .374 .495 20 .208

Yeah… I am interested. If Fredi can use Prado to give Beltran and Chipper regular rest we will be able to get the most value out of each of those three players and keep them all healthy. It could be the most ideal fit for the team, but you still run the risk of multiple injuries. Depending on the contract I would love to see Carlos Beltran in a Braves jersey next year.

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Tags: Atlanta Braves Carlos Beltran

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