The Red Sox are "unwilling" to go to three years for veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran, according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune:
Hearing they're unwilling (for now) to go three years. @p_pender: since they lost Ellsbury, would Boston be in on Beltran in your opinion?— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) December 4, 2013
Of note, this reply stems from an earlier statement that the Royals were willing to go to three years to bring Beltran home after ten years away from Kansas City:
Hearing #Royals, at this point, are only contender willing to go to three years on Beltran.— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) December 4, 2013
The Red Sox are in a bit of an awkward position when it comes to their outfield. Their plans for the future require Jackie Bradley Jr. to get a good amount of playing time in center field, but coming off winning the World Series in 2013, they have to want a high-quality backup in place who can take over the starting role in either center or right in case Bradley just doesn't cut it.
What cannot be emphasized enough is that Carlos Beltran does not help this situation. Not really. A few years ago he might have, but age seems to have finally caught up with him. He can't play center anymore, and is a bad fit for Fenway's cavernous right. With a Beltran - Victorino - Nava outfield likewise representing a step back in defense across the board, it's hard to imagine the Red Sox could view Beltran as anything more than an answer at first base, likely by way of shifting Nava into the infield.
Given that Beltran has historically been best against left-handed pitching, that would also leave Jonny Gomes without much of a role. On the whole, it's just hard to see how Beltran fits the team outside of just being a generally good player. And even that has to be in question given that Beltran will be 37 in April. On a two-year deal, a sharp decline in 2014 can be shrugged off without too much trouble. On a three-year deal? Not so much.
If the Royals are indeed willing to give Beltran a third year that no one else will, then he'll probably wind up signing there. And, really, with the Royals having traded away their future in Wil Myers for a chance to win now, who can doubt that they're made for eachother?