St. Louis Cardinals fans excited that Carlos Beltran is apparently a week or less from making his free agency decision can officially go, "Oh, come on," and then roll their eyes again—a new team has emerged in the bidding, according to Ken Rosenthal. The Cleveland Indians, who earlier prevented Hot Stove Leaguers from what enjoying what would have been an exciting Grady Sizemore debate, are in on Beltran.
This would be bad news for two underperforming members of the C.C. Sabathia trade, outfielder Michael Brantley and first baseman Matt LaPorta, as well as the Cardinals, who seem intent on spending their Pujols millions on Beltran, and fellow front-runners the Toronto Blue Jays.
It seems like an odd move for the Indians, who have little payroll flexibility and won 80 games with a 75-win run differential—they allowed 56 runs more than they scored—but I'm not about to doubt it. The 2011 Hot Stove League is all about players and teams conspiring to disappoint me, from Albert Pujols going to the Angels right down to the Milwaukee Brewers winning the bid on Norichika Aoki.