Carlos Beltran joins the Yankees on a dizzying day of spending
Did everyone forget that the Winter Meetings are coming up next week down in Florida? Should I cancel my flight? The Hot Stove is in a full-blown boil, and I honestly cannot remember a 48 to 72 hour period of so much frenzied activity and player movement in December.
If you thought the fun was over on Friday, then Carlos Beltran and the Yankees had something to say about it, agreeing to a three-year, $45 million pact that finally dresses the switch-hitter in pinstripes. Beltran’s arrival comes nearly a full decade after he offered his services to the Yankees at a reduced rate, only to join the Mets when the Bombers said they were sticking with Bernie Williams as the center fielder.
The deal comes as a direct result of Robinson Cano’s decision to accept a 10-year, $240 million pact from the Mariners. Cano finally scored the decade-long deal he coveted and wasn’t going find from the Yankees, who finished with an offer that is believed to have been seven years at $175 million.
I was surprised. I do believe that Cano wanted to stay with the Yankees, and I don’t think he linked up with Jay-Z and this Roc Nation Sports venture to establish his brand in the Pacific Northwest. He will probably talk about all of that at some point in the future, but few people would leave $65 million on the table. He had made it clear that there would be no hometown discount, and the Yankees weren’t budging. So, Seattle it is.
This was a day that started by watching the sun come up over Connecticut, strangely enough. Brian Cashman was on the roof of the Landmark Building in Stamford, practicing his rappelling once again for Sunday’s upcoming ‘Heights & Lights’ holiday event. Cashman checked his cell phone a few times and ducked behind a storage room to make a few calls, but he said that he hadn’t been briefed about any of the developments between Cano and the Mariners.
Twitter filled in the gaps: the Cano deal was reportedly on late at night, reportedly off during breakfast, then reportedly finalized before lunch. Cashman shrugged during the coffee and donut hours — the Yankees had made their proposal and felt comfortable with it, and if it was not good enough, they still had offers out to other free agents. Some of those balls in the air would find their way to the Bronx.
“Everybody is replaceable,” Cashman said. “That’s a team concept. Some people are harder to replace than others, no doubt about it. I don’t think anybody would have the attitude that anybody is going to make or break your future, but you certainly can invest for good reason into players that can try to make your future brighter. That’s what we’re trying to do with Robbie amongst others. If it’s not to be, it’s not to be, and we’ll continue to do business as we have and try to collect as many great players as we can.”
Cashman had said that the Yankees were “on the one-yard line” with more than three players, shaking his head when asked to identify them. We can fill in the gaps: Hiroki Kuroda (one year, $16 million), Kelly Johnson (one year, $3 million) and Ellsbury (seven years, $153 million, still not official). Somewhere in the middle of all this, Curtis Granderson became a Met.
Now Beltran is in the Bronx, and there’s more to come. The Yankees want to add another starting pitcher, bullpen help, support for the left side of the infield and – oh yeah – a second baseman.
No one should be surprised to hear free agent Omar Infante’s name pop up for that last need. No, he’s not Cano – players of that caliber are few and far between. But the Yankees intend to move on, and what’s more, they already appear to be well on their way.
So, yep, I’ll keep that flight to Florida. I want to see what happens next.