The Cleveland Indians reportedly made a ‘hard push’ for veteran sluggers Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran, reports Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan.
Sources: Indians made a strong push at Matt Holliday. Had done the same with Carlos Beltran, as @Ken_Rosenthal said. Need a power bat.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 5, 2016
Beltran, who the Indians considered acquiring at the July trade deadline, agreed to a one-year, $16 million deal with the Houston Astros earlier this week. Last season, the 39-year-old outfielder/designated hitter slashed .295/.337/.513 in time split between the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers. Steamer projects his production to take a huge hit in 2017, with his wRC+ dropping a full 17 points, and more importantly, his slugging percentage dropping as he approaches 40 years old.
I was not too upset to see the Indians miss out on Beltran, but I was really hoping Matt Holliday would be in a Tribe uniform next season. Steamer is optimistic about his 2017 chances, he signed a reasonable $13 million contract, and he still may be athletic enough to be a part-time first baseman, even if he is no longer an outfielder.
Passan also revealed that the Indians are, as expected, still very much in on Mike Napoli, though several teams are reportedly bidding for his interest. If another team gives him the three-year deal he wants, I would expect the Indians to pass.