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Beltran sets highest OPS in playoff history

Redskins Rick

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Odd headline! Beltran's playoff history is incomplete. He still has at least 2 games to play. He hasn't really "set" a record yet.

Of course, I hope that Beltran's run lasts through the World Series, and that he sets the bar even higher.

I heard they were going to sit him out of the rest of the playoffs to preserve the record. ;)

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Matt Holliday sat out the last game of the regular season "to preserve his .300 BA" but, in all fairness, Matt was fighting back spasms the past several weeks and the extra day's rest may have done him some good.

The biggest question with Beltran is whether he's back with the Cards for 2014? The Cards have a potential logjam in the outfield, with Holliday, Craig, Jon Jay, Shane Robinson, and uber-prospect Oscar Taveras. Beltran's return would exacerbate that logjam and create one at first.

There is a debate whether the Cards should make a qualifying offer to Beltran (about $14M) in the expectation that he would turn it down, like Lohse last year. There are two problems with that if the Cards don't really want Beltran:

(1) Beltran has expressed a desire to stay in St Louis and I think he really means it. Beltran has had his opportunity to play in the World Series twice -- in 2004 with the Astros and in 2006 with the Mets. His odds of finally making it are probably better with the Cards than with other team besides the Red Sox or Dodgers.

(2) I'm sure Beltran and his agent paid attention to Lohse's experience on the free agent market last winter. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement has totally changed the landscape for the top free agents. Few players are good enough that a team will sacrifice a first round draft pick for them AND give the player a lucrative multi-year contract. With Beltran's age and history of injuries, a qualifying offer might be the best deal he can get.

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Reported supposedly at MLBtraderumors.com

One-time Mets star outfielder Carlos Beltran is not ruling out a return to New York, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter), and that possibility may have improved with an All Star game meet-up between Beltran and team COO Jeff Wilpon. From the Mets' perspective, Puma further tweets, the team is interested but wary of Beltran's apparent defensive decline. We owe a tip of the hat to MetsBlog, whose Michael Baron comments that he isn't sure Beltran is an everyday outfielder at this point. MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth recently compared Beltran to Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz, with MLBTR readers indicating a strong (69.3%) preference for the former.

That possible qualifying offer from the Cardinals sounds a little less likely, given the probability that Beltran would grab it. Maybe the Cardinals will approach Beltran's agent with a deal with a lower base salary and significant incentives for plate appearances?

More likely is that he'll be playing elsewhere next year, perhaps as a DH.

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