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Saturday, December 3, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE SIGNING ANALYSIS: CARLOS BELTRAN REUNITES WITH HOUSTON ASTROS FOR ONE YEAR AND $16 MILLION

Striking it just before the December Winter Meetings, the Houston Astros won the bidding for free agent outfielder/DH Carlos Beltran on Saturday as they inked the veteran to a one-year deal worth $16 million.  The move brings back memories of Beltran's monster second-half run with the Astros back in 2004 when he hit .258 with 23 home runs, 53 RBI, and 28 steals in just 90 games and 333 at-bats.  Now turning 40 in April, Beltran is a stripped down and aging version of his former All-Star self as his speed is long gone and he can barely play the field.  Beltran will work primarily as the DH for the Astros and will occasionally man the outfield but he is being paid for his bat that is still prominent as he hit 29 home runs, drove in 93 RBI, and batted .295 in 593 at-bats.  The big story with Beltran of course is health and we can never take that for granted, especially at his age.  However the bat still obviously has some thump in it and another 22-25 home runs and 80 RBI is very likely if he can stay on the field.  Grade Beltran as a high-end outfielder 3 for 2017 fantasy baseball purposes and cross your fingers he wins the health battle.

On a related front, Beltran's signing by the Astros may leave the New York Yankees as the favorites to land free agent first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnacion.  With Encarnacion not being courted by the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox not showing much aggressiveness here, the Yanks could be the leading contender to land the monster power hitter.


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