The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have agreed to terms with outfielder Carlos Beltran pending a physical. The parties have agreed to a two-year contract for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The 34-year-old free-agent has over 13 years of Major League service time with Kansas City, Houston, New York Mets and San Francisco. The club expects to make a formal announcement shortly after the holidays.
“Beltran is a proven outfielder who obviously has been a tough opponent against the Cardinals for many years.” said Cardinals’ Senior Vice President John Mozeliak. “It is going to be nice to have his bat and competitive nature working for us instead of on the other side of the field for the next couple of years.”
The switch hitter is a career .283 hitter with 302 home runs and 1146 RBI. His 302 home runs rank 4th among switch hitters from his first full-season in the Majors (1999) to present. The 6′ 1″ outfielder has driven in over 100 RBIs in a season seven times, most recently in 2008 with the Mets. Last season, Beltran split his year between the Mets and Giants, where he hit a combined .300 with 22 home runs in 142 games.
Beltran is a six-time National League All-Star (2004, ’05,’06, ’07, ’09, ’11) and a three-time Rawlings Gold Glove winner (2006, ’07, ’08). He won the Louisville Silver Slugger Award in 2006 and 2007 with the Mets, seasons in which he had 41 homers and 116 RBI, and 33 homers with 112 RBI, respectively.
Beltran has made appearances in the postseason twice, in 2004 with Houston and in 2006 with the Mets. In both of those years, Beltran and his team faced the Cardinals in the League Championship Series, with the Cardinals advancing to the World Series each year. In 2004, Beltran set numerous MLB postseason records including a record-tying eight home runs and a ML postseason record with a home run in five consecutive games (Game 5 of the NLDS through Game 4 of the NLCS).
The Puerto Rico native resides in his home country in the off-season and has played for Puerto Rico during the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic.