(Beltran's lone defensive highlight of 2013)
When Curtis Granderson got knocked out of the lineup in Spring Training and then again in May, the Yankee outfield was exposed for how weak and shallow it had become. After letting Swish walk, the Yanks were left with a light-hitting trio of Gardner, Ichiro, and panic trade acquisition Vernon Wells to hold down the fort. There was no amount of luck, black magic, or age-defying skill rebound that was going to make Ichiro and Wells productive, above-average hitters for an entire season, and predictably the offensive output of the Yankee outfield took a nosedive.
Enter Carlos Beltran. Once coveted by Yankee fans and writers alike in the mid-2000s, the Bombers missed out on him when he was in his prime and now have a second opportunity to add him to the mix this offseason. He's not the 5-tool stud he used to be, and I'm on the record as saying I don't think pursuing him on a multi-year deal should be a top priority for the team, but there's no denying that Beltran would be a major upgrade in right field next year over any and everybody currently under contract.