NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 06: Carlos Beltran #36 of the New York Yankees celebrates his three run home run in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium on June 6, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Carlos Beltran has put together a Hall of Fame-type career and has hopes of continuing it beyond this season.
Beltran may want to play up to two more seasons at the big league level.
“I don’t know what will happen next year. I want to play, of course,” said Beltran via George King of the nypost.com. “I would love to play 20 years. This is my 18th year, one or two more years. I am healthy and nothing hurts. Who knows one month from now? The game of baseball turns so quickly.”
With two more years on his radar, Beltran is 39-years-old – an age where teams start to get nervous about a players ability to play at the highest level.
However, numbers speak for themselves in the game of baseball, including the dreaded age word. This season, his stats have done the talking and his age has taken a back seat.
Through 58 games as the Yankees most consistent hitter, Beltran not only wants to continue playing but is searching for something he has yet to find in his career.
“Twenty years would be a good accomplishment for me personally and at the same time I want to give myself a chance to win the World Series,” said Beltran via King. “I’ve been to the World Series with the Cardinals and we lost, so that’s something I would love to experience before I make my last call.”
He has done nothing but produce at the plate for the Yankees in his third season with the team, hitting his way to a .281 average, which ranks second on the team only to Jacoby Ellsbury. The power numbers are there as well, slugging 16 home runs and driving in 41 RBIs. Both lead the Yankees this year.
The switch-hitter has enjoyed a recent hot-streak with a .352 average with eight homers and 22 RBIs in his last 19 games. Age has not played a factor this season up to this point, but returning to New York could pose an issue for 2017 and beyond if Beltran decides to continue his career.
The Yankees have high hopes Aaron Judge will be Major League ready next year, limiting the chance the veteran returns with the team. Beltran has put himself in a position where he will catch on with a contender next year if New York does not bring him back. If Judge is not ready, there are other possibilities for the Yankees, but Beltran is one who has proven time and time again age has not slowed him down.
Joe Girardi has praised the 18-year vet throughout the season and has credited Beltran with being a vital piece this year.
“I think he is having an incredible year, an All-Star year,” Girardi said via King. “Without him, I don’t know where we would be.”
After one year with the Yankees in 2014, many thought Beltran’s career would be soon over due to an elbow injury that required surgery. But since then, all he has done is prove he is an important piece to a team who is close to contending in the AL East.
“I am enjoying what I am doing and I will continue to do that until I have to force myself [to prepare],” said Beltran. “Right now, I am not forcing myself.”
With the trade deadline still a month and a half out, time will tell on how long Beltran’s Yankee career will last, but he has put on quite a hitting display early on in the season.