Why Carlos Beltran Will Get Traded
MetsToday commenter “hart” had this to say in regard to the Carlos Beltran situation:
Surprised how many people seem to be buying into the possibility that Alderson might keep Beltran for a playoff push, whereas it seems pretty clear to me that it’s pure posturing on his part. Ideally, he’ll play several suitors off against each other and enhance what we get in return. I hope it gets done soon, rather than risk some sort of setback.
I have to agree. Sandy Alderson held a press conference to assure everyone that the K-Rod trade did not signify a “fire sale” and did not have anything to do with Carlos Beltran’s status for two reasons: first, to placate the diehard fans who really believe the Mets have a shot at a postseason spot; and second, to keep what little leverage he has in any trade talks. Think about it: if Alderson comes out and says, “hey, this is the beginning of the end, we’re rebuilding, and we’re going to trade off everyone we can”, then he puts himself into a poor bargaining position with other GMs. He has to get the most he can for Beltran, Chris Capuano, Jason Isringhausen, et al, and in order to do that, he has to create the illusion that the Mets still consider themselves contenders and are in no rush to make any deals. At the same time, he’s publicly keeping the door open to possible deals, so that other teams will call him, rather than the other way around.
The reality of the Beltran situation is very similar to that of K-Rod: Sandy Alderson really has to trade him. There’s very little benefit in keeping Beltran around through the end of the season, considering that a) the Mets are unlikely to have the money to re-sign him – especially if he remains healthy and as productive as he’s been thus far; b) when he leaves via free agency, the Mets will get nothing in return because of the clause in his contract that prevents them from offering arbitration; c) he doesn’t fit into the long-term rebuilding plan that seems to be in process; and d) why would he want to stay, when he still doesn’t have a ring? At his age, one would surmise that Beltran will look to sign with a definite contender with the hopes of being part of a championship club.
Even if the Mets go on a 10-game winning streak, it’s not going to convince me that they are “contenders”. They’ll be interesting, but at the end of the day, they’re still likely to be too far behind in the standings, and further, they can’t compete against the Phillies, Braves, Giants, and other top teams in a short series. The prudent thing to do is jettison Beltran now, while he has value, while he appears to be healthy, and while teams believe there are enough games left that Beltran can impact, and therefore be more willing to part with a top prospect to get him.