How close was Carlos Beltran to signing with the Red Sox?

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Carlos Beltran was linked to the Red Sox prior to signing with the Cardinals, but today the veteran outfielder explained to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal why he didn’t end up in Boston:

I did feel that it was going to be a good fit for me. We talked a little bit, and they had interest. They were trying to get something done first with David [Ortiz]. At the end of the day, I wasn’t going to wait until they got that done.

In terms of timelines, Beltran signed his two-year, $26 million deal with the Cardinals on December 23. Ortiz accepted the Red Sox’s arbitration tender on December 7, but didn’t sign his one-year, $14.575 million deal to avoid arbitration until February 13.

And as MacPherson writes, odds are the Red Sox wouldn’t have had room in their budget for Beltran at the money (and years) he ended up getting anyway. Instead they ended up trading for Ryan Sweeney as part of the Andrew Bailey swap and then signed Cody Ross to a one-year, $3 million contract.

All of which is why Beltran will be replacing Albert Pujols instead of J.D. Drew.