Having gone some two days without signing a marquee free agent, the Yankees opened their wallets today for Carlos Beltran, inking the all-time Mets great to a three-year, $45 million free agent deal. Beltran spent the last two seasons in St. Louis and the final couple of months in 2011 with the Giants after being traded by the Mets to San Francisco in exchange for Zack Wheeler.
Before the trade, Beltran spent most of seven seasons with the Mets, thoroughly enriching the lives of many while somehow disappointing an untold number of joyless fans who don't deserve happiness anyway. He is one of the two or three best non-pitchers in the history of the franchise, and every day since he left I have wished for his eventual return. When he signed with the loathsome Cardinals I died a little inside, and now that he'll be a Yankee I'm really not sure what to think. My heart is crying, inasmuch as a) a heart can cry, and b) baseball is worth crying over, but to the extent that a grown man can still have a favorite baseball player, Carlos Beltran is mine, and every time he takes the field for another team I can't help but pine for the days when he took the field for my team.
I suppose this is preferable to having him sign with the Kansas City Royals, which he was rumored to be contemplating earlier in the week and which signing would have had Hall of Fame headwear implications down the road. As much as it sickens me that he'll be a Yankee for the next three years, the consolation will come on the day he's standing behind a lectern in Cooperstown, graciously accepting his enshrinement with a smile on his face and a Mets cap on his head.