Sell High On Beltran? Never

In the abstract, it makes perfect sense. An outfielder, one year removed from a .915 OPS, is available in the late rounds of a fantasy draft. You draft him, he gets off to a strong start. There are multiple fans of his team in your league. And he has a chronic knee condition likely to flare up any day.

Sell high and move on, right?

Well, I can't. I just can't.

Soon enough, Beltran is likely to be an ex-Met. One of the finest players in team history- easily, the best center fielder the Mets have ever employed- is in the final year of a contract that doesn't permit them to offer him arbitration. Translation: after this year, he's heading elswhwere, and the Mets don't even have a chance to get a draft pick when it happens.

So the team, too, is likely to sell high, unless the Mets find themselves in the race come July. Even then, if Sandy Alderson determines that this is more of a 2004 pennant race than a 1999 one, he could deal Beltran regardless.

And he'd be right.

But in the meantime, with Beltran and possibly Jose Reyes heading out the door, I'm going to live vicariously through my fantasy teams- after all, that's the reason fantasy baseball exists. Into my lineup goes Beltran, and yes, I'll play him every day. For now, I'll see that NYM in his profile and smile.

And quite possibly, even after the Mets deal him, I'll keep him around, letting myself think of what might have been if the Mets had surrounded Beltran and Reyes with strong secondary talent.

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