The market for free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran seems to be picking up quite a bit of recent steam.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported this afternoon that the Orioles, Yankees and Red Sox have expressed serious interest in signing Beltran and now Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald tweets that the Red Sox front office has already engaged in “serious dialogue” with the 36-year-old and his agent.
Beltran received a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals this month and declined it, so signing him requires the forfeiture of a top draft pick. But what he is capable of providing offensively can outweigh that hitch.
Beltran batted .282/.343/.493 with 56 home runs, 56 doubles, 162 runs scored and 181 RBI in his two seasons with St. Louis and he’s a .333/.445/.683 career hitter in 51 total postseason games.
The Red Sox could use him as a regular left fielder and part-time designated hitter in 2014.
Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.
Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.
Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.
As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.