One of the Yankees’ big signings this off season was Carlos Beltran. Already, he has made his presence known but not exactly as you would expect. Although position players are not expected to report until Wednesday, many already have. Eduardo Nunez, Kelly Johnson, and Brian Roberts just being a few of them.
To the surprise of many, Carlos Beltran did some fielding practice yesterday. However, that is not what surprised everyone. Beltran was not doing any outfield practice. Instead, he was helping the infielders turn double plays and giving them some tips. It’s good to see newcomers like Beltran taking initiative and getting to know some of the players.
Of course, the 36-year-old is not known as an infielder being that he has played his entire career as an outfielder. The Yankees brought him over for his switch-hitting abilities so that he can bring balance to the lineup. After losing Robinson Cano, The Bombers needed some more pop in the lineup and Beltran’s power stroke will likely play very well in Yankee Stadium.
The right fielder’s tenure with the Mets ended in 2011. A couple of off years prior caused him to be traded at the deadline before becoming a free agent and signing a two-year deal with the Cardinals.
After two years in St. Louis, it’s safe to say he bounced back by averaging 148 games, 28 home runs, 90 RBI and a slash line of .282/.343/.493. This giving him an OPS of an astounding .836 in the two-year period.
After seeing those numbers, it’s no wonder the Yankees inked him to a three-year deal worth $45 million. He will probably make a nice impact in the Bronx. He’s always wanted to play for the Yankees, and he finally has his opportunity and is already making an impact.
With the announcement of Derek Jeter retiring after the 2014 season, there needs to be a couple of guys who step up. By reporting days early and helping players at a position Beltran is very unfamiliar with, just goes to show that he does have some leadership qualities that could play a huge roll for this team and beyond.