According to ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews, free-agent Carlos Beltrán is on the Yankees' "list" ... which is newsworthy mostly because the Yankees already have title to a right fielder in 2012, as they've got a $10.25-million option on Nick Swisher's services for next season.
What does the Yankees' interest in Beltrán mean for Swisher? According to Matthews:
That is an ominous sign for Swisher and his agent, Dan Lozano, who during the season were given reason to believe the option would be picked up, although not before the Nov. 1 deadline. Now, it seems as if the Yankees front office is weighing one of three options -- pick up Swisher and forget Beltran; sign Beltran and forget Swisher, or sign Beltran, pick up Swisher's option and include him in a trade for a starting pitcher.
It should be a huge surprise if the Yankees don't pick up Swisher's option, for the simple reason that Brian Cashman looks at the same numbers as the rest of us. And the numbers say that Swisher's worth around $15 million per season. Even if you think Beltrán's the better player -- arguable, considering his recent injury history -- why would you decline to spend $10 million for a player worth $15 million.
Not enough room for two right fielders? Unless Cashman's already decided that Jesus Montero is going to be the Yankees' everyday DH -- granted, that's not a bad idea -- there should be plenty of room on the roster for both Swisher and Beltrán.