Yankees Have Carlos Beltran’s No-Trade List

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

New York Yankees 39-year-old All-Star Carlos Beltran has let the club know the 15 teams he would need to approve a potential trade to.

Though Carlos Beltran was not ready to divulge the names of the specific teams he could potentially block a trade to, the list is said to contain a mixture of both National and American League teams; meaning Beltran’s more than open to continuing to play right field, instead of becoming the full-time designated hitter that most see him as.

On Saturday night, before the Yankees showed some much-needed resiliency against the AL Central division leading Cleveland Indians (the Yankees prevailed 7-6 in an 11-inning affair), Beltran spoke to the New York Post about potentially moving to an NL team:

"Why not? DH is great, but I played all my life in the outfield, so there’s nothing wrong with it. I just want to play baseball, man."

The only thing that could be wrong with “it,” are the questions that surround Beltran’s health; if his body can indeed sustain at least another 81 games patrolling right field.

Sunday’s final game before the mid-season break once again saw Beltran penciled into the DH spot; marking the 25th time 52 appearances this year he has done so. Allowing the soon-to-be free agent to split games in the field, and not, is a major reason as to why he’s currently batting .297 with 19 home runs and 55 RBI.

Would these stellar numbers drop precipitously playing every day for an NL club? It’s hard to say.

Then again, Beltran often gets rejuvenated by October baseball. A career .332 hitter in the postseason, it would be a calculated gamble that could pay off significantly for a senior-circuit team to acquire a man with 19 long balls and 40 RBI during 11 total series of postseason play.

Back in May, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Indians, Tigers, Royals, Dodgers, Cardinals, Rays and Nationals were among the teams not listed on Beltran’s no-trade list; meaning any deal to one of the aforementioned clubs could be done without Beltran’s consent.

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The only team that absolutely wouldn’t/shouldn’t be interested in Beltran’s services is the Tampa Rays, mostly because of their last place standing the AL East. As for the others, the Washington Nats likely have no room for Beltran because of their crowded corner outfield positions; as well as the Detroit Tigers who are waiting for J.D. Martinez to return from the DL. Besides their DH role is all but sewn up with Victor Martinez (.309 BA, 17 HRs, and 52 RBI).

The Los Angeles Dodgers are an interesting possibility, though. Currently sitting 6.5 games back of the first-place San Francisco Giants, and tied for a wild card spot with the New York Mets, the Dodgers have been absolutely ravished by injuries this season; most notably Clayton Kershaw, Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson and Kike Hernandez.

Now we know that Beltran has predominately played only center field and right field during his 19-year career, so would the Dodgers be open to moving Yasiel Puig to center? Or would the club urge Beltran to man the left side of the outfield because he couldn’t possibly play it any worse than Howie Kendrick or Scott Van Slyke?

The St. Louis Cardinals are another club with a plethora of outfielders, namely Randal Grichuk, Brandon Moss, Matt Holliday, Stephen Piscotty, Kolten Wong, and Tommy Pham. But I would venture to say that the great fans of St. Louis would surely welcome back Beltran with open arms if he could do what he did in 2013 as a member of the ‘Red Birds‘ (.296 BA, 24 HR’s and 84 RBI), and guide them back to a World Series appearance.

How about everyone’s darling, the Cleveland Indians? Yes, the Yankees just took three out of four from them to finish the first half, but the Indians still sit 6 1/2 games ahead of the Tigers for the AL Central lead.

Now if I told you during Spring Training that the ‘Tribe’ would be doing all this with an outfield made up of Lonnie Chisenhall, Rajai Davis, Tyler Naquin, and Jose Ramirez, chances are you would have called me a few unsavory names.

Adding Beltran to Terry Francona‘s equation not only gives this club an outfielder who would already have double-digit home runs but importantly, the credibility inside baseball circles to believe this cinderella story won’t lose its glass slipper anytime soon.

DH is all but taken care of with the interchangeable duo of Mike Napoli (18 HRs & 61 RBI) and Carlos Santana (20 HRs & 49 RBI), so Beltran could easily slide into right field, with Chisenhall flipping over to left; Ramirez would ultimately become a valuable piece off the bench.

Finally, there is the organization that Beltran began his career with way back in 1998, the Kansas City Royals. Ned Yost‘s bunch have underachieved in a major way in defense of their World Series title. Yet for the love of parity, a 45-43 record still has the champs only seven games out of first in the AL Central, and just 4 1/2 games from a wild card berth.

Of all the teams already mentioned, the Royals more than any other is in dire need of an offensive upgrade, ASAP. Having already lost Mike Moustakas for the year, Lorenzo Cain for another week or so, and Alex Gordon (.207 BA, 7 HRs and 14 RBI) having yet to round into shape following his extended stint on the DL, the Royals typically send out Jarrod Dyson (.253 BA & .327 OBP) to man center field and Pablo Orlando (1 HR & 18 RBIs) in right.

I have nothing against these guys personally, but these two names can’t make up 66.6% of your starting outfield. On the other hand, Kendrys Morales and his .258 BA, 15 HRs and 47 RBI won’t be vacating the DH role anytime soon.

Related Story: Yankees Take Series from Indians to Close First Half

No one really knows just how much Beltran has left in the tank beyond this season. But if 2016 were to officially become the finale to what most certainly is a Hall of Fame career, finishing up where it all started would undoubtedly be a fitting conclusion.

Then again, all of this speculation could be a moot point if the Yankees decide they are all in after the All-Star break. Worst case scenario, the Yankees could always issue a qualifying offer to Beltran this winter and get draft compensation back if he left in free agency.