The AL East hot stove’s pilot light is on and ready to heat up. According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, former Yankee Carlos Beltran has drawn some interest from the Red Sox.
With a gaping hole at the DH spot for the first time since 2003, Boston has been considering many of the big name free agents, Edwin Encarnacion in particular. However, Beltran might be the better fit for the Sox. Although he will be turning 40 in April, he could play some left field, a position they struggled with in 2016. Chris Young, Blake Swihart, Brock Holt and Bryce Brentz all spent time in left before prospect Andrew Benintendi was called up.
Additionally, since Beltran was a midseason acquisition by Texas, he can’t be extended a qualifying offer which would save Boston a draft pick. Encarnacion, on the other hand, has been given a QO by Toronto and they are hopeful they can resign him.
Beltran is coming off an impressive 2016 All Star campaign. Between New York and Texas, he hit .295/.337/.513 over 151 games. His 29 homers and 93 RBI were his highest since 2013 and his .850 OPS was his best since 2011.
This offseason is definitely a buyers market. With names like Jose Bautista, Yoenis Cespedes, Mark Trumbo and Matt Holliday being available, Boston can have their pick of the litter.