Houston fans will have emotional conflict when Carlos Beltran’s name is first announced at Minute Maid Park in April. After years of being booed following the 2004 offseason, the 39-year-old outfielder returns to Houston.
ESPN’s Buster Olney is reporting the Astros have signed Beltran to a one-year, $16 million contract.
Possible HOU lineup w/Beltran in the fold, 1 yr./$16m: Springer, Bregman, Altuve, Correa, Beltran, Reddick, Gattis, McCann, Gurriel.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 3, 2016
Beltran proved to still be a productive player at nearly 40 years old with the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers. He batted .295 (163x552) with 29 home runs, 93 RBIs, 122 OPS+, and a 124 wRC+ in 151 games.
As previously noted a return to Houston would be an interesting move for Beltran. Beltran found fame with the Astros with a historic 2004 playoff run in which he batted .435 (20x46) with eight home runs and 14 RBIs. But Beltran choice the New York Mets’ seven years, $119 million (2005-2011) contract in the following offseason. Houston fans since have booed him mercilessly at every turn.
The Astros could have used Beltran last year or least could have enjoyed not facing him — Beltran batted .316 (18x57) with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 15 games between the Yankees and Rangers.
Another note, Olney is reporting the contract has a full no-trade clause.
Carlos Beltran's deal with HOU includes a full no-trade clause.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 3, 2016
The question about Beltran becomes what will be his primary position, outfield or designated hitter. Beltran was a designated hitter 73 times last year and played right field 69 games.
The Astros have plenty of options in the outfield with George Springer, Josh Reddick, and Jake Marsinick. Beltran joins the group of Brian McCann, Evan Gattis, and Yuri Yulieski Gurriel.
And does the Beltran signing bring to an end to the Edwin Encarnacion talk of joining the Astros? Houston may not have the at-bats to spread around without making a trade.