ST. LOUIS -- The chances of Carlos Beltran returning to the Cardinals dropped from "extremely unlikely" to "not happening" when he didn't accept the club's qualifying offer before Monday's 4 p.m. CT deadline.
Though turning down the offer makes Beltran's departure from St. Louis all but official, he will not be forgotten for turning in two All-Star seasons in St. Louis. He leaves the club on strong terms.
"I made it clear I would love to come back," Beltran said the night the Cardinals lost Game 6 of the World Series. "I understand I'm a veteran and the organization makes its decision based on what makes sense to them. I won't take anything personal if I don't come back to St. Louis."
By not accepting the one-year, 14.1 million qualifying offer, Beltran is saying he believes he can score a better deal. He is seeking a multi-year deal greater than his just-completed two-year, 26 million contract with the Cardinals. According to some reports, the 36-year-old is looking for up to f...