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You already knew that the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants had agreed to exchange Carlos Beltran for pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. You already knew that Beltran had agreed to waive his no-trade clause to join the NL West leaders. That's everything, right? Deal was official? Wrong. The deal was not official. There was one last hurdle to clear:
MLB has cleared the Beltran paperwork. He becomes a Giant around noon ET today.
The paperwork! Thank goodness Major League Baseball didn't misplace the paperwork. And thank goodness nobody with a certain bias within Major League Baseball saw to it that the paperwork was destroyed. Perhaps somebody fond of the Braves or the Rangers. At the very least, that would've forced the Mets and Giants to go through everything all over again. And who knows, maybe one of the team's would've taken that chance to re-consider, and then what would we have? We would have chaos. Miserable chaos.
Beltran could be in the Giants' lineup as soon as Thursday night. He is expected to play right field, shortstop, and first base.
At long last, the Carlos Beltran trade is unofficially official. Though nobody's made an announcement, the final possible stumbling block has been cleared, as Beltran has agreed to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Giants. Joe Kay:
Beltran and his .904 OPS will go to San Francisco, where he's expected to play right field. The Giants are in first place in the NL West, but they've struggled to score runs all season long, so Beltran will obviously help in that regard. He's only a short-term rental, but he's about as good as a rental gets, and for a team with dreams of a title defense, he's a major get.
And for the Mets - who will pay $4 million of the $6 million remaining on Beltran's contract - they receive top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler in a one-for-one trade. Wheeler's a 21-year-old righty capable of generating strikeouts and groundballs, and could have a future as a front-of-the-line starter. Especially if he improves his command by 10-20 percent.
This is a little rough on the Mets, considering they're 53-51 and have been playing well. But a Beltran trade was inevitable, and now they'll just have to make do with what they have. What they have is Lucas Duda. From Kay's article:
Collins said Lucas Duda would play in right field a lot after Beltran is gone.
"I'm probably more comfortable at first base and left field because I haven't played a lot out there," Duda said. "I'll try my best out there and see what happens."
"He'd better get comfortable real fast," Collins said.
Beltran will be a free agent after the season. Per his contract, the Giants cannot offer him arbitration, and so they will not receive any compensation in the event that he signs elsewhere.
It's only a matter of time before the Carlos Beltran trade between the Mets and the Giants becomes official, as the only apparent hang-up is waiting for Beltran's approval. But while we wait, more details continue to emerge, including this latest one from Buster Olney:
Confirming what @joelsherman1 is reporting: the Mets are eating $4 million of the $6 million owed to Beltran for rest of the season.
I guess that's actually from Joel Sherman, but I don't follow Joel Sherman. I hope I didn't break an internet rule!
The Mets' willingness to eat the majority of Beltran's remaining contract is a big reason why the Giants are reportedly willing to include pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. The more salary you eat, the more value you get back. It's also interesting to note that the Giants are including Wheeler, while the Braves - who were also interested in Beltran - did not want to include one of their premier pitching prospects. Different front offices operate in different ways.
Beltran owns a 151 OPS+ on the season, which would be the highest mark on the Giants. Once this goes through, San Francisco may feature an actual major league lineup.
Wednesday's apparent Carlos Beltran trade between the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants looks to be all but complete, as it's just up to Beltran to give his approval. The big question remaining is what the Mets will get in return for the star outfielder. There was some disagreement earlier on, but now, multiple sources are saying that Zack Wheeler - not Gary Brown - is the top prospect going the other way.
Who is Zack Wheeler? Wheeler is a 21-year-old righty selected sixth overall in 2009. Baseball America ranked him the No. 49 prospect before 2010 and the No. 55 prospect before 2011, and he works predominantly off of a low-90s fastball and a solid curve. His changeup is coming along, as changeups usually are. With advanced-A San Jose this season, Wheeler has thrown 88 innings, with 47 walks, 98 strikeouts and a bunch of groundballs. His command could use some work, but the stuff is there for Wheeler to become an impact arm down the road.
It's a good return for the Mets in exchange for a player who was no longer of any use. As for the Giants, while Wheeler is a hefty price to pay, it's not like the organization is short on pitching, and they have higher priorities than worrying about the future anyway.
Amazing how quickly things are happening, still days in advance of the trade deadline. This could end up being a dead weekend, but only because the weekdays are so alive. After reports that the Rangers were in on Carlos Beltran, and then out on Carlos Beltran, now we're getting word that the Giants have all but brought the guy in. Tim Brown:
Looks like Beltran is indeed going to SF, according to source. Logistics being worked out.
The Giants make for a good, sensible destination. They're a team that could really use the help, and they're a team to which Beltran would happily agree to waive his no-trade clause. The biggest question now is what the Mets might get back. Ken Davidoff:
#Mets are expected to get Gary Brown and, most likely, two other players in return for Beltran.
And Buster Olney:
The Giants are expected to give up pitcher Zach Wheeler as the centerpiece of the Beltran trade.
So there's some disagreement there as to which top Giants prospect the Mets will receive as the centerpiece. Either one would be a hell of a get, though. Brown's the toolsy, lightning-fast outfielder, while Wheeler's the righty starter who Baseball America ranked as the No. 55 prospect in baseball before the season.
It looks like it's only a matter of time before this is complete. The Giants will get probably the best position player on the market, and the Mets will get a package that more than satisfactorily compensates them for their loss. It's unclear who will headline that package, but in either case - Brown or Wheeler - it'll be a big talent.
That didn't take long. Earlier Wednesday, we heard that the Rangers and Giants were making progress in negotiations with the Mets about outfielder Carlos Beltran. Now Ken Rosenthal throws some water on half of that flame:
Source: Beltran NOT going to #Rangers. #SFGiants presumed front-runner.
Adds Jon Heyman:
#sfgiants in position to land beltran. #phillies not quite giving up. but deal with sf could get done soon.
It makes sense. Though the Rangers have been fond of the potential help, Beltran was never particularly keen on playing in the AL, and he's armed with a no-trade clause. Where Beltran doesn't want to go, Beltran doesn't go, and Beltran doesn't want to switch leagues.
So now this leaves the Giants alone atop the pedestal. They're not guaranteed to be the ones to land Beltran, but they have the best shot, and it certainly looks like a trade could be completed at any moment.
Most of the talk right now is about Jerry Meals and Tuesday night's Pirates/Braves game, but it's also trade deadline season, and there's plenty going on. Already on Wednesday we've seen an Edwin Jackson trade, and courtesy of Buster Olney, we also get an update on the Carlos Beltran negotiations:
Olney's report seems to put the Rangers and the Giants in the lead, with the Braves (and, presumably, others) hanging in the back. Which is actually kind of surprising to the Rangers, since - well I'll let T.R. Sullivan explain.
The Rangers know that Carlos Beltran can be acquired before Sunday. They like the impact bat. But they are expressing surprise that they are the front-runners and still think he will stay in the National League.
Beltran has reportedly already turned down a possible deal to the Indians, so he may indeed be strongly opposed to going to the AL. That said, Texas is in a stronger position than Cleveland, so Beltran could be more amenable to them. The Rangers, clearly, are trying.
As for the Giants, the whole world knows they could use an offensive boost. They have plenty of useful outfielders, but nobody on Beltran's level, so space could and would be made.
The Mets are still looking for a very good return in a Beltran trade, but no longer do they seek an elite one.
The New York Mets’ Carlos Beltran, who is a free agent after this season and having one of his better years, is perhaps the hottest piece on the trade market as the non-waiver deadline approaches next Sunday.
That makes this tweet from SI.com’s Jon Heyman even more intriguing:
strong belief now best beltran offer may come from #rangers. 1 hangup: he prefers nl. atl, sf, milw still in, #tradedeadline
The Rangers hadn’t really been considered anywhere near the front-runner in the Beltran Derby before now, although they were one of several teams that had expressed interest. However, as Heyman points out, Beltran has gone on record as saying he doesn’t want to leave the National League, as he isn’t interested in being a designated hitter.
Since Beltran has 10-and-5 rights and can reject any trade, it seems fairly certain that his destination will be in the National League, with, as Heyman points out, the Giants, Braves and Brewers (in no particular order) the leading possible destinations.
Carlos Beltran isn't the only good player on the trade market, but he's one of the best, and he's also just about guaranteed to move, as the New York Mets have no reason to hang on to him. It's not surprising, then, that Beltran trade rumors have been swirling fast and furious as contenders from around the league check in and make their push.
For a long time, there appeared to be one hang-up: while the Mets were willing to move Beltran, they were aiming very high in terms of the return. That presented an obstacle, as teams were reluctant to offer an elite prospect for a rental. But according to Joel Sherman, Beltran's price is dropping:
Exec interested in Beltran said #Mets price today is different than 2 weeks ago, not shooting for sky as much. Exec said: "They're not ready to settle, but are ready to think more ultimately about what return they actually will get."
As the Mets' demands get more reasonable, the action around Beltran should intensify. The Mets were previously staging a staring contest with other front offices, but it appears the Mets blinked first, and now Beltran's a candidate to go at any moment.
Where would he go? Buster Olney reports that there's no frontrunner, but it's a dynamic situation, and the Rangers, Red Sox, Giants, Braves, and Phillies have shown the most interest. It's unclear how willing Beltran would be to waive his no-trade clause to go to the American League, but players can usually be persuaded.
Most of the biggest names around the MLB trading deadline are on teams that are listening, but not necessarily dealing. The Rockies will listen to offers for Ubaldo Jimenez. The Cardinals will listen to offers for Colby Rasmus. And when you accuse them of not listening, they'll get all indignant and say, "What? We're listening! We're listening!" But it's pretty unlikely that either of those players will be traded.
The New York Mets have the one trade piece, then, that a) everyone knows will be traded, and b) represents an upgrade for almost every contending team. As much as teams are being coy and downplaying the desire to overpay a rental, Carlos Beltran is having a fantastic season, hitting for average and power. There are 13 teams within four games of a playoff spot, and Beltran would improve the offensive output of every one of their outfields.
The catch is that Beltran has a no-trade clause, and it sounds as if he could be a little finicky about where he goes and what he does. On Sunday, he told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that he's not excited to go to a team that would like him to play center field or DH. And he's really not a big fan of the American League at all.
ESPN's Jayson Stark takes it a step further, citing a friend of Beltran's who says the outfielder has told the Mets that he wants to go to one of only seven National League contenders. With eight teams within four games, that would likely leave the Cardinals as the odd team out, as Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman are limited to the corners, where Beltran would prefer to play.
The Mets are willing to eat most of the $6 million remaining on Beltran's contract in order to get better prospects, though that kind of scratch could buy a lot of international free agents, or buy out the college commitments of amateur players who drop in the draft because of those strong commitments. It could also go into the Jose Reyes war chest for the offseason. So while the team is publicly stating that the quality of the prospect is more important than the salary relief, there are arguments to be made in favor of the Mets taking either route.
Beltran's apparent refusal to waive his no-trade clause for an AL team would take out at least two suitors, and possibly more. The more teams in the mix, the more likely it is that one GM will panic, overpay, and wake up in the back of a Greyhound bus in the morning, wondering where his wallet, keys, andare.
Even with everyone knowing that the Mets want to trade Beltran, and even though he has a full no-trade clause, the Mets still have a surprising amount of leverage because Beltran would make a lot of teams significantly better without a prohibitive financial commitment. So the game of chicken will go down to the wire (or possibly a day before the wire), and even if Beltran will approve a trade only to an NL team that puts him in a corner-outfield spot, there isn't a shortage of those sorts of teams eager to acquire him.
The MLB trade rumors are not subsiding over the weekend, particularly when it comes to Carlos Beltran. The New York Mets outfielder has plenty of suitors, but ESPN's Buster Olney reports that not all teams have an equal chance at picking him up in a deadline deal.
The Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants are all in the running for Beltran, according to Buster Olney, but the ESPN reporters indicates that Boston might be falling behind the others interested simply to due to the two teams not exactly having what the other needs to complete the deal.
The reason the Red Sox would be interested, of course, is due to J.D. Drew being more than a little underwhelming this season. If the Boston front office isn't able to put together a decent crop of prospects in exchange for Beltran, however, it makes sense that the Mets would be quick to move on to one of the many other teams interested.
Either way, it looks like Beltran will be traded somewhere.
The Giants, Phillies and Braves look like the front-runners for Carlos Beltran at the moment, with the Brewers another possibility. Milwaukee lost centerfielder Carlos Gomez, a former Met, to injury, and could consider Beltran for centerfield or rightfield, with Corey Hart moving to center. Some are suggesting the Giants already have plenty of outfielders and in early talks with the Mets they've been unwilling to include their top talent (they'd rather pay money; Beltran has about $7 million left on his Mets deal).
The Giants? They do have plenty of outfielders, none as good as Beltran but the makings of a decent squad, especially if Nate Schierholtz is more than a mirage.
The Phillies? With Victorino their only outfielder who's been even decent this season -- of course, he's been a lot better than decent -- Beltran would obviously make them look even better ... which means they would still look like the best team in the National League, but more.
The Braves? Is Beltran still able to play center field with aplomb? Because when Chipper Jones gets back, center field will be the Braves' only lineup hole (well, except for shortstop but Beltran can't help there).
The Brewers? I feel like I'm missing some key piece of information here. Ryan Braun's in left field, and he's great. Corey Hart's in right field, and he's good. And with Carlos Gomez out, Nyjer Morgan's in center field ... and he's really good! Better this year (so far) than Hart!
It's funny, none of these teams seem the perfect fit for Beltran. Maybe the Pirates should get him ...
The most appealing player currently on the trade market is probably Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran. He's very good, he's been healthy, he's very much available, and the Mets have no reason to keep him around. Previously we've been told that there were 6-7 teams in the mix, but courtesy of Ken Rosenthal, we may now know the favorites:
Other clubs remain strongly in the mix for Beltran, who returned to the Mets’ lineup on Tuesday night after missing three games with the flu.
The Phillies have yet to get much offensive production out of either Raul Ibanez or Domonic Brown. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have thus far tolerated an underproductive J.D. Drew. Given that both the Phillies and the Red Sox have openings, and given that both the Phillies and the Red Sox are obvious World Series contenders, it makes sense why their interest in Beltran would be so high.
The Giants are also among the teams watching Beltran through the telescope in their bedroom. The Mets have expressed a willingness to eat some, if not all of Beltran's remaining salary, so with so much interest, Beltran may well get dealt in advance of the deadline.
Earlier on Thursday, Jon Morosi stated that the Tigers are interested in trading for Carlos Beltran. Jerry Crasnick followed by saying that, while the Tigers aren't really involved in the sweepstakes, there's no shortage of others that are:
#RedSox and #SFGiants among 6-7 teams in play on Carlos Beltran. #Tigers being mentioned in speculation, but they're not in the mix
It should come as little surprise that Beltran is a hot commodity. He has an .880 OPS. He's played in nearly every game this season. He's a versatile outfielder on a short-term contract. He might be the best player on the market, so of course he'll be sought by teams with title dreams.
And the Red Sox and Giants, not shockingly, are among those interested. The Red Sox aren't getting anything out of J.D. Drew, while the Giants aren't getting anything out of anybody. Nate Schierholtz has the second-highest OPS on the team at .807, but he's Nate Schierholtz, and Andres Torres has been a disappointment. Beltran would slide neatly into the middle of a Giants order that could badly use his punch, or any punch.
There are just over two weeks between now and the trade deadline. This Beltran contest could spin out of control.
Tigers do have interest in Carlos Beltran, source confirms, but team's current focus is trading for a starting pitcher.
Every team with a hole in the outfield should have interest in Beltran, who very quietly has been one of the National League's five best outfielders this season. And like a lot of American League clubs, the Tigers have gotten very little production from their left fielders this season.*
* The American League's best left fielder in 2011? Kansas City's Alex Gordon, who should have been an All-Star. Most teams haven't even had a regular left fielder at all.
That said, the Tigers do have a number of players who can play left field, sort of. And Jim Leyland's probably got a better chance of cobbling together an effective squad of left fielders from the material at hand, than of finding a good starting pitcher to complement Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. If the Tigers can't acquire a good starter, they might well "settle" for an outfielder. But that probably shouldn't be their first priority.
We continue our series about trade candidates with New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran, who has bounced back in a big way from knee problems.
But that possibly-contending status isn't stopping them, apparently, from being sellers at the trade deadline. The New York Post's Kevin Kernan reports that teams are calling to inquire about Carlos Beltran's availability.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson says he's listening to offers, but:
... "it’s still a little bit early" to make deals. He said the Mets remain "relevant" in the wild-card race and he is right, you can’t back up the truck just yet.
"I’m cool with everything," Beltran added. "I just have to come here and continue to do well.
"Right now we are contending. We have a legitimate chance of winning the wild card. We have a lot of games left."
Beltran is in the final year of a seven-year, $119 million contract he signed with the Mets before the 2005 season. It calls for him to be paid $18.5 million in 2011, so there's about $9 million remaining on the deal as of now. According to Hardball Talk, the Mets will be looking for a trade partner willing to pick up all or most of that remaining money. Another obstacle to a deal is Beltran's full no-trade clause.
Despite injury issues in the past, Beltran has been relatively healthy this year and is producing, hitting .285/.373/.506 with 13 HR and 57 RBI in 85 games. He leads the National League with 26 doubles, and can still play a credible center field.
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