After 5 teams, 16 seasons, Beltran gets pinstripes Print
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Friday, 20 December 2013 15:14
MLB Headline News

 NEW YORK (AP) - Closer to the end of his long career than the start, Carlos Beltran finally got to put on the uniform of his favorite childhood team.
The eight-time All-Star was introduced at a Yankee Stadium news conference Friday, a day after finalizing a $45 million, three-year contract that was agreed to two weeks earlier.
Sporting his No. 36 jersey and joined by his wife and two daughters, Beltran talked about how much he admired the Yankees while growing up in Puerto Rico and how close he came to joining them in 2005 before he signed a $119 million, seven-year deal with the Mets.
''Having the opportunity to come back again as a Yankee really means a lot to me. I grew being a Yankee fan, grew up being a Bernie Williams fan. At one point, I almost got the opportunity to sign with the Yankees. It didn't work out,'' Beltran said. ''But at the end of the day, what is in the past is in the past. I'm looking forward to joining this ballclub, looking forward to the challenges ahead.''
In addition to Beltran, the Yankees gave outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury a $153 million, seven-year contract and catcher Brian McCann an $85 million, five-year deal, moves they hope will replace the offense lost when All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano left for a $240 million, 10-year agreement with Seattle.
Including not-yet-finalized deals with second baseman Brian Roberts and left-hander Matt Thornton, New York's luxury tax payroll is at $177.7 million for 15 players. When benefits are included, they are within $1 million of the $189 million tax threshold for next year.
The Yankees' only hope to get under is if an arbitrator upholds most of Alex Rodriguez's 211-game suspension and they don't have to pay most of his $25 million salary.
New York manager Joe Girardi says the ruling could have a significant impact on the team, which missed the playoffs for just the second time in 19 years.
''That could change what my whole thought process on what our lineup is,'' he said.
Beltran, who hit .296 for the Cardinals last season with 24 home runs and 84 RBIs, has played with five teams over 16 big league seasons.
He could be shuttled between right field and designated hitter. That would lessen some of the strain on the 36-year-old's knees: he's had two operations on his right, one on his left.
Coming off his first World Series appearance, Beltran hopes the Yankees return to the playoffs after a one-year absence.
''In my case I don't come here to replace nobody,'' Beltran said. ''I come here to fill my own shoes.''
NOTES: Gary Tuck rejoined the Yankees on Friday as bullpen coach. The 59-year-old Tuck was Girardi's bench coach in 2006 with the Florida Marlins and was Boston's bullpen coach from 2007-12. Tuck previously worked for the Yankees as a catching instructor, bullpen coach, scout and minor league manager. ... The Yankees also hired Trey Hillman as special assistant of major and minor league operations, Mike Quade as a roving outfield and baserunning instructor, and Matthew Krause as strength and conditioning coordinator.
 

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