Carlos Beltran has announced his retirement. The 20-year veteran goes out on top, with a World Series win.
Beltran, the 1999 Rookie of the Year and a nine-time All-Star, played for the Royals, Mets, Yankees, Cardinals, Giants, Rangers and did two separate tours with the Houston Astros. Over the course of his career he put up a line of .279/.350/.486 with 435 homers and 312 stolen bases. An elite defensive center fielder for much of his career, Beltran took home three Gold Glove awards and could’ve won more if Gold Glove voting was approached a bit more objectively than it is. He was a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner as well.
In later years, Beltran became a corner outfielder and a veteran team leader, mentoring younger players while with the Yankees, Rangers and Astros. He was the winner of the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award, which honored both his leadership and his charitable and community contributions.
Beltran’s contract was up after this past season and it’s possible that, despite his age and despite the fact that he’s coming off of a subpar season, he could’ve latched on as a bench bat/DH someplace. The World Series victory, however, caps a career in which he’s pretty much done it all, so it’s not at all surprising that he’s calling it quits.
By the traditional counting stats, Beltran may not strike a lot of casual fans as a Hall of Famer. And, indeed, he may not immediately attract a lot of Hall of Fame attention when he appears on the ballot in a little over five years. Increasingly, however, a consensus has built among the media and among more analytically-minded fans that Beltran is, in fact, worthy of induction, and I suspect he will have a plaque in Cooperstown eventually. We’ll discuss that more in depth later today.