Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that Carlos Beltran offered to sign with the New York Yankees for the same contract before he put his John Hancock on a deal with the Cardinals. Seven years ago, the Yankees passed on him and in some cases lost out on a solid outfielder. In 2011, he just is not the same player that he once was.
The Mets' center-fielder turned right-fielder was hindered with injuries throughout his tenure in Flushing. The Yankees definitely had concerns over his knee, which had him on the disabled list in 2011. If Beltran (by some miracle) is able to play the 2012 season without any time on the disabled and returned to his early Mets year form, he would be an upgrade over current right-fielder Nick Swisher. But guarantees of a healthy season are never likely with anyone.
The Beltran contract is only $3MM more than what the Yankees are currently paying for Nick Swisher's services. The timing for Beltran to show up to the Yankees door offering his talent was just off. Earlier in the off-season, Swisher's option was picked up to ensure that the Yankees do not lose him and don't get anything in return. The Yankees' priority right now is finding a No. 2 starter to take the ball after CC Sabathia in the rotation. The trade value for Carlos Beltran isn't any higher than Nick Swisher's and neither will reel in a trade offer that brings them that starting pitcher.
At this point in his career, Carlos Beltran is best suited for a designated hitter role with a appearances in the outfield when needed. He can not be depended on as an everyday outfielder. The Cardinals have a ton of money to spend after losing Albert Pujols to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They should be preparing to make an offer to Prince Fielder to fill the void. Beltran is best suited for the American League at this point in his career. The dots simply do not connect for the Cardinals and their decision to sign this veteran.
Side note: Beltran could be welcomed as a hero in St. Louis as he was the final out in the 2006 National League Championship Series and sent the Cardinals to the World Series. St. Louis would defeat Detroit 4 games to 1.