Beltran, 36, has made it no secret over the years that he one day wanted to play for the Yankees. He offered to sign with them at a discount before latching on with the Mets before 2005, and two years ago he gave New York a chance to match the two-year, $26 million he received from the Cardinals.
The Yankees, meanwhile, were reportedly holding firm at a two-year offer. The apparently decided to offer the third year after losing Robinson Cano to the Mariners. Beltran joins a crowded outfield that includes incumbents Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki and Alfonso Soriano as well as newcomer Jacoby Ellsbury.
In 145 games for St. Louis in 2013, Beltran hit .296/.336/.491 (128 OPS+) with 24 home runs. He'll be able to split time between right field and DH with the Yankees, which fits best at this point of his career. Beltran had knee problems a few years ago but has stayed relatively healthy the last three seasons while playing in the DH-less league.
The Cardinals will receive a supplemental first round pick for losing Beltran. The Yankees will forfeit the supplemental first rounder they received for losing Cano as a result of adding Beltran. They lost their first rounder for signing Brian McCann and the supplemental pick they received for losing Curtis Granderson to the Mets when they agreed to sign Ellsbury.