Friday, December 20, 2013

In 2005, Carlos Beltran told the Yankees he wanted to play for them. There was no room on the roster, so he instead signed a seven-year deal with the New York Mets.

Eight years later, his dreams of playing in pinstripes have finally come true. The Yankees officially introduce Beltran Friday at Yankee Stadium after signing him to a three-year, $45 million contract, one week after Jacoby Ellsbury's presser.

"Having the opportunity to come back again [to New York] really means a lot to me," Beltran said on Friday. "I grew up being a Yankees fan. I grew up being a Bernie Williams fan. As a player — and first of all, as a fan — I used to look up to this organization. They always did what it takes to put good teams out there and win championships."

The Yankees added Beltran, who will wear No. 36 with the Bronx, two weeks ago, right after Robinson Cano signed with the Seattle Mariners.

"This is someone that has always wanted to be a Yankee," general manager Brian Cashman said.

The Yankees have been courting Beltran earlier in the offseason, but talks with the three-time all-star seemed to slow down he was looking for a three-year deal, and the Yanks were only willing to offer two-years. Once the Kansas City Royals joined the race, and another team put a $48 million offer on the team, the Yanks gave him the third year.

Beltran, 36, played for the Mets from 2005-11, when he was dealt to San Francisco. He signed a two-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals prior to the 2012 season, and reached his first World Series with St. Louis this past October, losing to the Boston Red Sox in six games.

"It's gonna be fun, no doubt about it," Beltran said. "I have good memories in Queens and all I have to say about the Mets is just a lot of good things. I was fortunate to play in a good organization, being able to be around good people. And you know, it’s gonna be different, no doubt about it. At the end of the day, we're gonna go out, we're gonna play, we're gonna try to win.

"That's our job as ballplayers. The reaction is gonna be different. Some are gonna cheer, some are gonna boo, but at the end of the day I'm there to play baseball."

Beltran hit .296 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs for the Cardinals this year, and added two homers and 15 RBIs in the postseason -- a place he hopes to go to with the Yankees.

"I'm really looking forward to October with our new player, Carlos Beltran." said Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Beltran will be joining a now crowed Yankees outfield with Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano. However, Ichiro and Wells might not be on the roster on Opening Day, unless the Yanks decide to trade Gardner, which they say isn't happening.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Beltran, the Yankees designated right-handed pitcher Brett Marshall for assignment.


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