Beltran wants to stay with Yankees

Beltran wants to stay with Yankees

SAN DIEGO -- Carlos Beltran is well aware that his name is being discussed as a possible trade target for contending clubs, even though the Yankees have issued no official indication that they intend to be sellers in advance of the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

The veteran outfielder has been able to block out that speculation, and Beltran said on Sunday before the club's series finale with the Padres that his preference would be to remain with the Yankees, believing that this team has a chance to turn their season around and mount a run toward the playoffs.

"I live in New York. I love playing in New York," Beltran said. "I think I've proved that I can play in New York. I love the challenge, man. I've been here three years. I love the team, love the guys around. I've gotten the opportunity to get to know different players that I never got the chance to play with. We feel like we get along well. We have good chemistry as a team."

Beltran, 39, is in the final year of a three-year, $45 million contract and has been the Yankees' most productive offensive player this season. His deal includes a partial no-trade clause that allows him to block trades to 15 clubs.

"It's not in my hands, man," Beltran said. "At this point, it's not in my hands. The team is going to do whatever they're going to do. My concentration is to come here and try to perform, try to help the team win."

A tight right hamstring has limited Beltran of late, though he has made two pinch-hitting appearances since sustaining the injury on Tuesday against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium. Beltran is hopeful that he will be able to serve as the Yankees' designated hitter in Monday's series opener against the White Sox in Chicago.

"I've been encouraged the last couple days," manager Joe Girardi said. "The one thing we have to be careful of is we don't run him out too early and jeopardize him hurting it worse, because then you're going to lose him [for] a long time."

Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Padres dropped the Yankees' record to 39-41, eight games back of the Orioles in the American League East. Despite their issues, the organization hierarchy is thought to still be targeting the postseason; team president Randy Levine recently dismissed speculation that the Yankees would sell as "nonsense."

Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has sent similar messages to general manager Brian Cashman, though that stance could change if the team does not play with more consistency over the next few weeks.

"I believe that we are capable of doing it," Beltran said. "Last year, personally, we feel that nobody believed in the team that we had. We were able to play and play well. This year has been a little different than last year. This year has been more inconsistent and that's the thing that we have to try to change."

If not, Beltran, outfielder Brett Gardner and left-handers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller are among the players who could be dangled to contenders. According to ESPN, Beltran could be dealt to the Cardinals, Dodgers, Indians, Nationals, Rays, Royals and Tigers without him having to waive his limited no-trade clause, among others.

"I'm happy where I am right now," Beltran said. "Like I said, I still feel that we have time to change this thing around. My mind is right here."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.