Houston - The Astros have agreed to terms with free agent slugger Carlos Beltran to a one year deal worth $16 million.
"He was a good option without a long-term deal," Astros owner Jim Crane said in an interview with Fox 26 Sports. "Some of these deals are a little risky with what they want. His maturity, he can still play at a high level. He proved that last year. He brings a lot to the locker room. We think he'll be a good influence on a lot of our young players. Not only do we get a good play player who's mature and will add some stability, they'll learn from him. That was a big plus."
Beltran was acquired by the Astros in a trade with the Kansas City Royals in 2004. Beltran helped the Astros reach the NLCS, and was supurb throughout the postseason. He tied a postseason record with 8 home runs and did so in just 12 postseason games.
"We've always said we'll put the resources to work when we think they'll be effective and then we think we have a window with all of these young guys to make a move for the next two, three, four years and really have a very good team," Crane said. "We're trying to add the pieces we think can get us over the hump and win a championship. That's always been our goal."
Beltran has not been greated warmly by Astros fans since leaving to play for the New York Mets after the 2004 campaign. He turns 40 next season but is still a strong hitter. Beltran batted .295 with 29 home runs and 93 RBI last season between the Yankees and Rangers last season.
The Astros have been very active this offseason. Last month, the team landed catcher Brian McCann in a trade with the Yankees and later signed outfielder Josh Reddick to a four-year deal.
"Before nobody wanted to come here. Now everybody wants to come here," Crane said. "It just says he wants to win. He's got a few years left and he's always liked Houston. It's good for everybody."
Crane says the Astros have likely made their biggest splash.
"We're going to the [winter] meetings looking for some pitching. I don't think we're done yet but we've made our big moves."