No Altruism in Baseball: Beltran & the Yanks

I’ll state this right off the bat: I’ve never been a fan of ESPN’s Andrew Marchand’s “reporting.” His approach is predictably formulaic: take an emotional (read: unfounded) sentiment popular with a segment of mouth-breathing Yankee fans, propose a ridiculous solution, then use the rest of his white space explaining why his idea makes sense.

Usually, I can read his headlines and just click elsewhere, but for some reason today I decided to punish myself by reading this garbage regarding Carlos Beltran. Share in my pain, won’t you?

At 39 years old, Carlos Beltran has given the New York Yankees a gift, and now they should return the favor.

Well, this is a weird way to start: I actually agree with Andy. Beltran has had a great year. It has been a gift. The Yankees should return the favor by continuing to pay him the $15M they owe him this year. Damn, this post might be doomed from the lede.

The smart move would be to deal Beltran, so that his value benefits the franchise for years to come. They should trade him because what he has accomplished at 39 makes him an asset; at that age, most players are past being helpful to an organization.

He’s being rational and kind. This is getting weird.

It would be respectful to send Beltran, a pro’s pro and possible future manager, to a team with a real chance to win a title this season… [Keeping Beltran] would be a mistake that could cost them for years.

Haha, there it is! No, signing Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Alex Rodriguez were mistakes that cost them years. Losing draft picks so you’re forced to take guys like Dante Bichette, Jr., and Slade Heathcott in the sandwich rounds are mistakes that cost you years. Drafting Cito Culver ahead of Noah Syndergaard has definitely cost them a few years.

What do years cost anyway? I don’t know.

Also, it’s not “disrespectful” for the Yankees to continue paying Beltran an exorbitant amount of money to play baseball in the greatest city ever for the winningest franchise in professional sports. Disrespectful would be Joe Girardi calling him an “old asshole” every time he needs a day off. Or if someone within the organization resurrected the @MoleofBeltran twitter account.

According to Marchand, teams will just be throwing Kyle Schwarber-like talents at the Yankees for three months of Beltran. All the Yankees got to do is accept the deal. Got it. Should be easy.

The Yankees should be able to pick up a prospect or prospects of significance for Beltran, because he has been that good this year. He is now hitting .302 with 19 homers and 54 RBIs on the season.

Yes, Beltran has had an All-Star season. Yes, Beltran is the Yankees best offensive player. However, when there’s only one other guy in your lineup with an OPS+ over 100, that means something: your team’s offense is terrible.

I don’t know if Marchand has actually followed the trading deadline the last few years, but teams aren’t exactly rushing to give up top talent for a few months of production. Consider the fact Beltran is also 39 years-old and has already dealt with hamstring issues this year, and the likelihood of getting any kind of meaningful return is rather low. But hey, let’s not let logic get in the way of some stupid shit.

If Beltran played his whole career as a Yankee, he wouldn’t have achieved Derek Jeter’s level of popularity, but it would be close.

When you account for how he has been one of the great postseason players in history, he would have been destined for Monument Park.

But he didn’t. And despite his 1.2 WAR this year, the two seasons prior to this one (where he earned $30M), he was either injured or mediocre. I’m guessing the Yankees won’t be asking for a refund.

And then there’s this.

In free agency prior to the 2014 season, Beltran picked the Yankees over his first major league team, the Kansas City Royals. The Yankees tacked on a third year and outbid the Royals. The thought was that Beltran gave himself the best chance to win a championship. The Royals have gone to the past two World Series, winning one.

If this “future manager” looked at both rosters rationally and thought the Yankees had a better chance to win a World Series than the Royals, he’s an idiot. I’m guessing the extra $15-20M they Yankees offered probably helped.

And to be fair, the Yankees did host last year’s Wild Card game against the Houston Astros, losing 3-0. Beltran went 1 for 4, with two strikeouts.

He is an All-Star at 39. The Yankees should let him try to be a World Series champion this year.

Yes, a very rich All-Star who played in a World Series and will most likely make the Hall of Fame. An All-Star who has been a free agent multiple times and of his own free will decided to enter into a contractual agreement to play baseball with a team for three years and $45M.

Should the Yankees trade Beltran? Absolutely. Auction him off to the highest bidder and never look back. But they’re under no obligation to send him out on any terms other than their own.

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