Agent Scott Boras and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner have scheduled a face-to-face meeting to discuss Carlos Beltran sometime next week — the long-awaited conference that could determine whether Beltran becomes a Yankee or Astro or goes somewhere else.
Newsday has learned that Boras plans to fly to Tampa for the meeting. No conclusion should be drawn from the scheduled meeting, because it is believed that Boras’ itinerary also includes a get-together with anxious Astros owner Drayton McLane in or near Florida.
The Yankees and Astros have long been considered co-favorites to land Beltran. Boras is seeking $200 million for 10 years, and while teams publicly have scoffed at that price, multiple teams are aggressively pursuing the multitalented outfielder, which could drive the price well beyond $100 million in total value and $15 million a year.
It has been reported that the Astros have offered $81 million over six years, which obviously isn’t even in the ballpark of what Boras seeks. The higher the price goes, presumably the more it favors the Yankees.
Boras previously rebuffed attempts by Yankees higher-ups to show Beltran around New York. It is believed that the agent didn’t want to create the impression that his client had his mind made up to join the Yankees.
Beltran said several complimentary things about the Yankees during the summer, but the 27-year-old outfielder told friends he loved his half-year Houston experience.
Beltran isn’t expected to make his decision until after the holidays and perhaps not until close to Jan. 8 — the last day he’ll be allowed to sign with the Astros after he rejects their offer of arbitration Sunday — but McLane is showing impatience. “It’s putting us and other teams in kind of a bind, because if we don’t get Carlos, we have to move on,” he said in Thursday’s editions of the Houston Chronicle. “We’re anxious to move forward. Hopefully, in the week ahead, something will materialize. We need to start moving aggressively.”