TAMPA, Fla. -- Carlos Beltran was in a reflective mood in conversation earlier this year, and as he talked, it was apparent that he is very aware of where he stands in his career.
He knows he won’t be playing for much longer. He knows where he stands statistically among other all-time greats (358 career homers and 2,228 hits), and that he probably has more work to improve his chances for the Hall of Fame. And he knows that, at age 36, his body is not as resilient as it used to be. He'll be a free agent this winter, and he talked about possibly going to an American League club and serving in a role as a designated hitter, and how he would prepare for that.
Beltran didn’t say anything about his current level of performance, but he must know this, too: The guy can still really, really hit, and this winter, it figures that he will have a lot of choices.