Yankees finalize Beltran deal

McClatchy News ServicesDecember 20, 2013 

The New York Yankees announced Thursday the signing of eight-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove outfielder Carlos Beltran to a three-year contract extending through the 2016 season.

Multiple media outlets reported Dec. 6 that Beltran had reached agreement on a three-year, $45 million contract with the Yankees.

In 2013, the 36-year-old batted .296 with 79 runs, 24 home runs and 84 RBI in 145 games with St. Louis. In 17 postseason games for the National League-champion Cardinals, including his first career trip to the World Series, Beltran batted .268 with two home runs and 15 RBI – most among 2013 playoff participants.

Beltran is expected to split time between right field and designated hitter next season. The Yankees’ returning outfielders include Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano and former Seattle Mariner Ichiro Suzuki.

Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury signed with the Yankees earlier this month, agreeing to a seven-year, $153 million deal.

Free-agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo had reportedly turned down a seven-year, $140 million offer from the Yankees.

The Yankees’ offer to Choo apparently was made between Dec. 3-6 after second baseman Robinson Cano left for Seattle and Ellsbury signed. Choo’s agent, Scott Boras, asked for a contract similar to Ellsbury’s, but the Yankees, instead, signed Beltran.

TANAKA AVAILABILITY?

The Rakuten Golden Eagles had yet to make an announcement regarding their plans for pitcher Masahiro Tanaka as of Thursday night despite earlier reports in Japan that suggested the team will not post its star pitcher this year.

According to Hochi Sports, Rakuten does not intend to make Tanaka available.

SHORT HOPS

The Oakland Athletics acquired outfielder Corey Brown from the Washington Nationals for cash. ... The Cleveland Indians said they signed right-handed closer John Axford to a one-year, $4.5 million contract. ... The Chicago White Sox agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with right-hander Ronald Belisario and on a $4 million, one-year deal with pitcher Scott Downs. ...

After undergoing right knee surgery Thursday, the Tampa Bay Rays said infielder Tim Beckham might be able to return mid-2014. ... The Cincinnati Reds signed right-hander Chien-Ming Wang to a minor league deal ... The Baltimore Orioles reached an agreement with veteran Xavier Paul. ...

The Arizona Diamondbacks re-signed infielder Eric Chavez to a one-year deal. ... Right-hander Roberto Hernandez agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. ... Casey McGehee agreed to a one-year $1.1 million deal with the Miami Marlins. He played last year with Japanese champion Rakuten.

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