The New York Yankees wasted no time in responding to losing both second baseman Robinson Cano and centerfielder Curtis Granderson on Friday as free agent centerfielder Carlos Beltran agreed to sign a three-year contract with the Yankees.
Multiple reports confirmed on Friday night that Beltran signed a three-year contract worth $45 million with the Yankees. Beltran had an incredible season with the St Louis Cardinals in 2013. While playing in 145 games with the Cardinals last season, Beltran hit .296/.339/.491 to go along with 24 home runs and 84 RBIs. In addition, Beltran had a wOBA of .359 in 2013 to go along with a 132 wRC+.
While the Chicago Cubs have been in search for an outfielder this winter, the team was not believed to be interested in Beltran.
This move does benefit the Cubs, however. With Beltran signing in New York, that takes the veteran outfielder out of the National League Central division and removes a thorn from the Cubs side. Against the Cubs last season, Beltran hit .344/.400/.531/.931 in 18 games to go along with 1 home run and 6 RBIs.
Needless to say, the Cubs will not miss Beltran.
But with Granderson and Beltran no longer on the market, that makes Shin-Soo Choo as the top outfielder remaining on the free agent market. The Cubs are believed to be interested in Choo. Choo is expected to receive more than the $60 million that Granderson received from the Mets. In 2013, Choo had a wOBA of .393 and a 151 wRC+.
Choo will likely be a hot commodity at the winter meetings next week.