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- Carlos Beltran
- New York Yankees
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By The Sports Xchange December 20, 2013 1:51 PM
The New York Yankees introduced new right-fielder Carlos Beltran in a press conference Friday. Beltran officially signed a three-year, $45 million contract two weeks after the two sides agreed to the deal. Beltran will wear No. 36. The Yankees almost signed Beltran in 2005, but he ended up going to the New York Mets on a seven-year, $119 million deal. The Yankees still had Bernie Williams patrolling center field. "Having the opportunity to come back again as a Yankee means a lot to me," Beltran said. "I grew up being a Yankee fan. I grew up being a Bernie Williams fan. At one point, I almost got a chance to sign with the Yankees, but it didn't work out." Beltran will be 37 years old in April. This year, he batted .296 with 24 home runs and 84 RBIs with the St. Louis Cardinals, and played in his first World Series. However, the Boston Red Sox prevented him from winning his first title. After completing a two-year deal with the Cardinals, he chose the Yankees over the Arizona Diamondbacks and Kansas City Royals. The Diamondbacks actually offered more money than the Yankees. Beltran started his major-league career with the Royals. "This is someone who has always wanted to be a Yankee," general manager Brian Cashman said. "We've experienced discussions along the way throughout our tenure with the possibility to bring him in here. We are happy to land him now." The Yankees plan to pay Beltran in right field but will also use him occasionally as a designated hitter to protest his ailing knees. The club also has Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano, Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells as outfielders. Beltran owns a .283 career batting average with 1,346 runs, 446 doubles, 358 home runs, 1,327 RBIs and 308 stolen bases in 2,064 games over 16 major league seasons with the Royals (1998-2004), Houston Astros (2004), Mets (2005-11), San Francisco Giants (2011) and Cardinals (2012-13). Beltran ranks fourth among active players in career runs scored, trailing only Alex Rodriguez (1,919), Derek Jeter (1,876) and Albert Pujols (1,425). Beltran is the only player in major league history to record at least four consecutive seasons with at least 100 runs scored, 20 home runs, 100 RBIs and 30 stolen bases, a feat he accomplished each season from 2001-04. Among active switch-hitters, the two-time Silver Slugger Award winner ranks first in runs scored, hits and RBIs and second in doubles and home runs. Beltran is the only switch-hitter with at least 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases in his career. Beltran is a .333 hitter with 45 runs, 13 doubles, 16 home runs and 40 RBIs in 51 career playoff games. Among active players, he ranks fourth in postseason home runs, sixth in hits and seventh in RBIs. A native of Manati, Puerto Rico, Beltran was originally selected by Kansas City in the second round of the 1995 First-Year Player Draft. He won the American League Rookie of the Year Award with the Royals in 1999.