There are plenty of folks that wanted the Giants to re-sign outfielder Carlos Beltran this past offseason. They didn't and he went to the Cardinals. And Beltran, returning to San Francisco for a two-game series, is now saying the Giants didn't make "an effort at all" or even "call my agent" this past summer.
First things first, though: as we've noted here, Beltran would've been a superb re-up for the Giants. He's killing the ball this year and he signed a reasonable, two-year $26 million deal with St. Louis.
It was kind of assumed that the Giants talked to Beltran this offseason and ultimately decided they couldn't invest a pile of money in an older albeit talented hitter. According to Beltran, via Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, that's not even close to true and the Giants never even picked up the phone.
"I don't think they made an effort at all," Beltran said upon his return to San Francisco with the Cardinals on Wednesday. "They didn't call my agent. At the same time, this is business. They knew I was available. I expressed I wanted to come back.
"At the end of the day, they didn't call and St. Louis was the best fit for me. I really enjoyed my time here. But at the end of the day, it was not my decision."
Schulman also writes that the Giants brass "were surprised to hear Beltran's version" and said they spoke with Beltran's agent Dan Lozano "as late as the winter meetings in December" and also claim they were "willing to give Beltran something close" to the deal he signed with St. Louis.
So, it's kind of a case of they-said, they-said. (Or, potentially, a case of an agent making sure his client took the top offer on the table. I have no knowledge to indicate that, it's just a theory.)
Ultimately, it doesn't matter the reason Beltran isn't back in San Francisco -- the Giants have to deal with the fact that their offense is struggling while Beltran is raking elsewhere. The "what if's" will remain all season long. That's just the nature of the game.
The funny little irony here is that Beltran didn't play in Wednesday's 4-1 Cardinals win because of chronic arthritis, which is a classic "old-person injury," and something that would've probably flared up more if the Giants actually did sign him.