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MLB Rumors: Is Carlos Beltran the Yankees next target?

THe Yankees signed catcher Brian McCann on Saturday, and now they are working on bringing Carlos Beltran to New York as well.

Jim Rogash

I wrote about the possibility of the Yankees signing Carlos Beltran this offseason a few weeks ago, and now it appears he is their top target after they signed catcher Brian McCann this weekend.

Here is Mark Feinsand from the New York Daily News:

According to sources, the Yankees have set Beltran as their No. 1 target while they wait to reignite talks with Robinson Cano, for Hiroki Kuroda to decide whether he wants to return next season and for the Japanese posting system to be hammered out so righthander Masahiro Tanaka can be made available.

The Yankees prefer the eight-time All-Star to fellow free-agent outfielders Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz and Jacoby Ellsbury, the source said, believing he’s the perfect fit to bolster their lineup.

I wrote in that piece that if Beltran eventually signs with the Yankees, he would rank in my top 50 hitters for 2014. I loved the McCann signing for fantasy purposes, as McCann shoots up to the top spot in my catcher rankings, and I really like Beltran in pinstripes as well.

It appears the Yankees are trying to strike quickly in the free agent market, rather than go through the song and dance of other teams getting involved in talks to sign players they are targeting at the Winter Meetings two weeks from today.

Signing Beltran allows them to use him in a left field/DH platoon with Alfonso Soriano and provides them with a solid, experienced middle of the order bat. Here is what the Yankees lineup would look like assuming they sign Beltran:

C - Brian McCann

1B - Mark Teixeira

2B - Robinson Cano??

SS -Derek Jeter/Brendan Ryan

3B - Open

LF - Alfonso Soriano/Carlos Beltran

CF - Brett Gardner

RF - Ichiro Suzuki

DH - Soriano/Beltran

My assumption is that the Yankees will eventually sign second baseman Robinson Cano, but he will go to the highest bidder, and the Yankees may decide to move on to fill other holes on their roster, specifically starting pitching.

Beltran has been known as an injury risk, and he is, but he has played in 142 games or more in each of the last three seasons. That is more games played than Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun, Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo over the last three seasons. Moving to the Yankees allows him to DH on occasion, allowing him to rest his balky knees a few times per week, and will probably result in some very productive seasons from him throughout the length of his contract, which I assume will be three years.

Should the Yankees sign Beltran, or go after the on base machine, Shin-Soo Choo instead? Vote in the poll below, and share your thoughts in the comments as well.

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