The Cardinals land Carlos Beltran:
The team disclosed the agreement Thursday night and said it expects to make a formal announcement shortly after the holidays.
The $26 million deal includes a full no-trade clause, a source told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick.
According to FanGraphs, Pujols posted a 5.1 WAR in 2011, Beltran 4.7. With Berkman moving to first, the Cardinals’ defense improves in the outfield but suffers at first base, a good trade off. So for what it would have cost the Cardinals for one year of Pujols, they make up most of the loss for two years.
That assumes, of course, that Beltran can stay healthy. For two years, however, it’s a great risk. I’m actually surprised, at that price, that some team didn’t outbid the Cardinals. I still think Beltran would be worth the risk at two years, $30 million. Once again, the St. Louis front office shows it can put together a good, cost effective team.