beltran

Texas Rangers designated hitter Carlos Beltran (36) hits a single in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during game one of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball game at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

By Joe Giglio

An old-fashioned free-agent tug-of-war could emerge this winter between the Yankees and Red Sox for the services of Carlos Beltran.

Recently, speculation has begun to emerge about the Yankees reuniting with the 40-year-old designated hitter/outfielder that was moved to the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline last season. If the Yankees are interested in signing Beltran to help in the lineup and add to an offense that can use his powerful bat, competition will be present on the free-agent market.

Perhaps the biggest challenge to a Beltran return to the Bronx? The Boston Red Sox.

According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, there’s legitimate interest in Beltran by the defending American League East champions:

Edwin Encarnacion has been mentioned as a possible replacement for David Ortiz for months, but Carlos Beltran is also on the Red Sox radar.

This should not be a surprise as Boston is looking at the top of the market first, and Beltran figures to be a shorter deal than Encarnacion—one or two years, as he turns 40 in April. In addition, as a mid-season acquisition, Beltran cannot be extended a qualifying offer, meaning—unlike Encarnacion—he would not cost the Red Sox a draft pick to sign.

Beltran posted a .295/.337/.513 slash line in 151 games for the Yankees and Rangers in 2016. At the time of the deal, Beltran thought the Yankees made the right decision to trade him away to a contender.

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