The smart move would be to deal Beltran, so that his value benefits the franchise for years to come. They should trade him because what he has accomplished at 39 makes him an asset; at that age, most players are past being helpful to an organization.
It would be respectful to send Beltran, a pro's pro and possible future manager, to a team with a real chance to win a title this season.
The Yankees are in a strange spot as a franchise. Every win feels almost like a loss because it might fool management into not selling at the deadline. This would be a mistake that could cost them for years.
The Yankees need to inject as many young, talented players into this franchise as possible so they can really be contenders again instead of trying to hang on for an unlikely second wild card for a club that bores their fans, who are not watching the team as much on TV or in person.
The Yankees should be able to pick up a prospect or prospects of significance for Beltran, because he has been that good this year. He is now hitting .302 with 19 homers and 54 RBIs on the season. He is the Yankees' best player. He doesn't have that long-felt love with the Yankees' organization, but if he did, there might be a feeling that Beltran deserves to go to a team that's fighting for more than the Yankees are.
Beltran hasn't been a lifelong Yankee; he has been something of nomad, having played for six teams. He has been a rental twice. The Yankees should make it a third time.
If Beltran played his whole career as a Yankee, he wouldn't have achieved Derek Jeter's level of popularity, but it would be close.
When you account for how he has been one of the great postseason players in history, he would have been destined for Monument Park.
His résumé already should be good enough to deserve a plaque in Cooperstown one day, but Beltran still doesn't have that elusive ring. The Yankees may hold onto Beltran to try to sneak in as a wild card this year and hope for a miracle, but they shouldn't.
He is deserving of another championship run. His calm demeanor belongs in the postseason, where he seems as cool and relaxed as a son playing catch with his dad.
"He never really gets out of what he does," manager Joe Girardi said. "I think there is a lot of confidence there. He has had a lot of success in his career. I'm going to say it again: I think he is a Hall of Famer."
Any team that were to acquire Beltran would know they are getting a guy who could lead a playoff run.
In free agency prior to the 2014 season, Beltran picked the Yankees over his first major league team, the Kansas City Royals. The Yankees tacked on a third year and outbid the Royals. The thought was that Beltran gave himself the best chance to win a championship. The Royals have gone to the past two World Series, winning one.
That is how Beltran longs to end his season. The Yankees have not announced themselves as sellers yet. They should be, not only for themselves but to let Beltran chase a ring one more time.
He is an All-Star at 39. The Yankees should let him try to be a World Series champion this year.