Carlos Beltran likely to land with the Royals?

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That’s what ESPN’s Buster Olney is hearing from opposing teams …

Other reporters have confirmed that there is indeed a three-year, $48 million contract offer on the table to Beltran. And if the Royals made it, they’re almost certain to win the bidding for the veteran outfielder.

Beltran proved to be a major steal for the Cardinals on a two-year, $26 million pact that was signed before the start of the 2012 season. A three-year, $48 million deal that covers Beltran’s age 37, 38 and 39 seasons seems much more likely to fall flat, though Kansas City will have the luxury of using him at DH.

Beltran was drafted by the Royals in 1995 and spent the first seven years of his career with the team.

Yankees acquire A.J. Cole from the Nats

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The New York Yankees have acquired reliever A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.

Cole was supposed to be the Nats’ fifth starter this year but that didn’t work out too well. He pitched in four games for the Nats, starting two, to the tune of a 13.06 ERA, having given up six home runs in 10.1 innings. That’s . . . something.

Don’t get too used to Cole on the New York roster, as this seems like one of those “give us an arm” for a couple of days deals, after which Cole will be DFA’d and will either accept an assignment to Scranton or be cut loose. Such is life at the fringes for a guy who is out of minor league options.