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The Giants did well to acquire Beltran for their playoff push, but the Mets may have done even better, acquiring a top prospect for a rental when many thought their asking price was too high.
After talking with the Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers among other team, the New York Mets have traded All Star OF Carlos Beltran to the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants. In return the Mets will receive highly touted pitching prospect Zack Wheeler.
Beltran and agent Scott Boras have 24 hours to approve the trade, something that is seen as a formality.
General Manager Sandy Alderson had reportedly broken off talks with the Giants last week when they refused to include Wheeler in the deal. As other teams started to make a strong push for Beltran, San Francisco GM Brian Sabean increased his offer to include the 21-year-old right hander.
The Mets will also send cash to the Giants to help cover the Beltran's contract for the rest of the season.
If you'll remember, two weeks ago San Francisco closer Brian Wilson said that the Giants were in talks to acquire Beltran, before saying he simply "heard a rumor". Clearly the bearded one was onto something.
Lucas Duda is expected to get most of the playing time in right field with Beltran off to California.
The MLB trade deadline is quickly approaching and the New York Mets have still yet to find a new home for OF Carlos Beltran. With so many teams in contention and so few impact bats available, there has been no shortage of suitors for the All-Star.
While Beltran has a full no trade clause in his contract and has stated he would like to stay in the NL and play the outfield, his agent, Scott Boras, made it clear this week that it's not an open and shut issue.
"This decision for Carlos is about the select group of teams where he feels he has a great chance to win," Boras said. "That's what this thing is about."
And as far as the Mets are concerned, this "thing" is about getting the bets prospect(s) possible. If that means sending him to the Braves or Philadelphia Phillies, then so be it. Beltran will be a rental for whoever picks up and having to see him do damage within the division for a few months is a small price to pay for an elite prospect.
For complete Mets news and analysis, check out SB Nation's Amazin' Avenue.
New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes was going to be the most sought after trade chip in the 2011 trading season. However, his stellar play has made general manager Sandy Alderson change his mind, probably because he's seen first-hand how much of a game changer Reyes is, and that it'd be a public relations nightmare to trade him now. Thus, despite the shaky financial situation hovering over this team, it appears that the Mets will at least make an effort this offseason to keep him in New York.
"Someone who knows the [Jose Reyes] group well said to me, ‘If the Mets offered him 6 years, $120 million. I think he'd take it.' If that's the case, the Mets might be able to do that deal. That might be something they might be able to do. And they said to me, ‘I really believe Reyes and his connections want to stay in NY. As long as they get a reasonable contract.' I said, ‘What's reasonable?' They said, ‘How about 6 years/120.'"
Considering rumors swirled early this season that Reyes would command at least a contract int he neighborhood of what Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford got -- seven years, $142 million -- this would appear to be a bargain.
I have no idea what Reyes will get in free agency, but I do think that would be a very solid offer from the Mets' view considering it looked like they'd have to let him walk early on in the year. The big sticking point will be the amount of years Alderson offers to a player who's had a number of leg injuries throughout his career. For what it's worth, Fangraphs' contract estimator, based on a player's WARP, says Reyes is worth $25 million this season. And the Mets still have 60 games to play.
Alderson will have his work cut out for him this offseason, between figuring out how many years to offer and how many dollars ownership (and he) are willing to to commit to one player. What would you offer -- year/dollar amount -- for the 28-year-old star shortstop?
Over the past week, Carlos Beltran trade rumors have run rampant. Even with the news surfacing that Beltran wants to be dealt to a National League team, and that the Tampa Bay Rays are now dangling some competition -- B.J. Upton -- in the Beltran sweepstakes (where some believe he won't be the "best" hitter available), the New York Mets and Sandy Alderson are still in the driver's seat as the July 31 deadline approaches.
While word has leaked over the past few days that other interested teams believe the Mets' asking price is a bit too expensive, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick wrote tonight on twitter that they do not think it is.
No sign of #Mets dropping price on Beltran. They think he's best guy on the market and "legitimate difference maker,'' says one source.
Do you blame the Mets in thinking that Beltran is a "difference maker"? He's shown he still has thunder in his bat and has done it in the playoffs before. The Mets have no reasons to lower their asking price until the final minute before the deadline. They have nothing to lose; other teams who won't pay their price will be the ones who ultimately miss out.
And Newsday's Ken Davidoff reiterated what seems to be the consensus about Beltran and why teams won't give the Mets a frontline prospect:
"We like Beltran. But we like him for what he is, which is a rental for eight weeks with no draft pick compensation and a long injury history."
Davidoff notes that this may mean that Alderson may have to target quantity over quantity; get a few lower level guys whom their scouts like and hope they turn into something as opposed to that elite minor league talent.
It remains to be seen what Alderson and his staff will do, but be if there's one thing that's certain: he's doing all he can to get the best possible return.
Earlier in the day it was reported that it appeared that the Carlos Beltrans sweepstakes was down to five teams: the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers.
Just a few hours later, ESPN's Jason Stark penned a column about what it means to really be "available" during the trading deadline, and he had a very interesting Beltran theory bulletted at the bottom of the story.
It's been reported before that the Giants are very much in play for the right fielder, but that they don't plan on offering up any of their prospects, and instead are willing to eat most of (or all of) the money owed to him for the remainder of this year.
Here's a fascinating theory on the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes from two NL executives: They believe that all the current talk that the Phillies and Red Sox are either the "favorites" or the "most aggressive" teams in the Beltran bidding is being circulated by the Mets to increase pressure on other teams in the bidding. Their theory: The Giants wind up swooping in and getting this done, for a package fronted by dynamic center-field prospect Gary Brown.
Brown is a 22-year-old center fielder drafted 24th overall in the 2010 draft from Cal State Fullerton. Currently, Brown has a .313/.384/.468 line in High-A -- with eight home runs, 57 RBI and 39 stolen bases. Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein says he has "easy 80 speed" and "could turn into a dynamic leadoff man and plus-plus center fielder."
ESPN's Keith Law did not rank him among his top 50 prospects at midseason, though Goldstein slotted him at No. 46, saying: "Looking like the Giants center fielder and leadoff man of the future, which could come as early as mid-2012. Continued improvement in his approach will be key."
Brown may not be the best prospect in the Giants' system, but is one of the better ones. This would be a good get for the Mets, but of course, all this trade talk is speculation at this point.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, trade talks for Carlos Beltran have come down to five serious teams: the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers. Names being thrown around that would come to the Mets in a deal range from Atlanta minor league pitcher Mike Minor to Phillies right fielder Dominic Brown. The Giants, though, would rather pay most or all of the $6 million owed to Beltran than give up top prospects. Sandy Alderson has said a few times that dealing within his own division would not be a road block to a deal.
Carlos Beltran is one of the hottest names on the trade market because he appears to be the biggest bat that will be available. As a result, there are plenty of teams that will seek to add his services for the stretch run as they compete for a Championship, which means that the Mets will be able to ask for a pretty high price for their high-priced slugger.
One of the teams that makes the most sense is the San Fransisco Giants, but according to MLB Trade Rumors, there seems to be a philosophical difference in what they are willing to offer vs. what the Mets are requesting.
San Francisco is willing to take on most or all of the $6MM or so remaining on the outfielder's contract, but won't part with a high-end prospect. The Mets are willing to absorb salary, but are insisting on high-end talent in return for Beltran.
Other teams that are interested in Beltran and would make a trade if they have the prospects that the Mets covet are the Phillies, Brewers, Braves, Red Sox and possibly the Yankees. Beltran will be on the move, but as of now, where he ends up going is anyone's best guess.
On Wednesday night, Angel Pagan hit a walk-off home run to beat the visiting St. Louis Cardinals in the 11th inning. But, before the contest the New York Mets fanbase got some better news.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney via Twitter:
The Mets are now 100 percent certain they will not trade Jose Reyes before the deadline, according to sources. He changed their minds.
For months now, there has been rumors that the All-Star shortstop was going to be traded before the deadline. However, it seems that maybe one party reached out to the other.
It's rare to see "100 percent certain" in any of the trade-rumor tweets or articles," wrote SB Nation's Grant Brisbee Wednesday, "so this one stands out. It sounds like Reyes reached out to Mets management and somehow let them know he wasn't giving up on being a Met. Maybe he wants a Bobby Bonilla-type deal to keep him comfortable until 2039.
While the New York Mets continue to play at just about a .500 level, they are still 12 games out in the National League East and 7.5 out of the Wild Card spot, making them sellers by the July 31 trade deadline.
One of the reasons they've been relatively competative this season has been the play of All-Star right fielder Carlos Beltran. Who would've thought that coming off of arthriscopic knee surgery and some ominous signs from spring training that the 34-year-old would have played in 92 games this season? He's batting .293/.389/.528 with 15 home runs and 61 RBI. He also leads the league with 30 doubles.
Philadelphia has suggested publicly that it doesn't want to add payroll, but it has the prospects to get a deal done. The Mets have signaled a willingness to pay some or all of the $7 million or so remaining on Beltran's salary, and Philly isn't averse to the surprise move (see Lee, Cliff).
Heyman says the biggest key is that the Mets are "open-minded" about a deal and see it as a way to get a top prospect in a deal -- so much so that they have no problems moving him within the division.
Heyman says that the Mets will aim high in a trade, as they know he's the most lethal bat on the block, and will first ask for Phillies' 24-year-old right fielder Domonic Brown.
While most of Philly's better prospects are pitchers, two people with knowledge of the talks said the Mets' first target with Philly would be top outfield prospect Domonic Brown. That may seem at first blush like a big asking price, but the Phillies are probably the World Series favorite and are clearly going for it this year, they need to get more righthanded (Beltran is a switch hitter while Brown is a lefty), Beltran is the best hitter on the market and they can fit him onto their team without paying a cent.
There is no harm in the Mets asking for a team's top prospect, especially with the leverage they appear to have in trade talks right now because of how well Beltran has played and what he'd add to a contender's lineup. Brown may be hard to pry away but I'm convinced Alderson will hold out for a very good prospect ... and whoever budges first on his request will be the one he pulls the trigger with. The front office/scouts are definitely doing their due diligence right now with regards to which prospects to target when teams come knocking.
Over the past few weeks, between the world class production from Jose Reyes and his stint on the disabled list, it became increasingly more likely that the New York Mets would not trade the electric shortstop and leadoff man, who will become a free agent this offseason.
Wednesday afternoon that suspicion became 100 percent certain, as league sources indicated to ESPN's Buster Olney that "the New York Mets are certain they will not trade shortstop Jose Reyes before the July 31 deadline."
For much of this season -- triggered by the financial distress facing the organization and early-season comments from general manager Sandy Alderson -- it appeared that the GM would do whatever it took to move the 28-year-old. With the way he has played this season -- .350/.393/.519, 22 doubles, 13 triples, 30 steals -- trade partners for the Mets could have been plentiful.
Now, it appears that the Mets will at least make an offer to Reyes this offseason ... how much he'll command, though, remains to be seen.
But while the 34-year-old outfielder was MIA, the interest among contending teams in baseball has not faded one bit. In fact, they've heated up to the point where you can't look away for one second without reading a new Beltran rumor, and that many prospective teams are craving his production. For Sandy Alderson and the front office, the fact that the interest remains so intense is a very good thing. The fact that Beltran appears to be the best hitter on the market, and one that could make a real difference come the playoff push and into the playoffs, adds to the love affair.
The interest for Beltran is so high, sources say, that the Mets might trade him several days or more before the July 31 non-waiver deadline - and include less money in the deal than they initially expected would be necessary.
Currently, the Phillies are using 24-year-old rookie Domonic Brown in right field, who's batting .245 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 159 at-bats. The Red Sox have been using the broken down J.D. Drew for the majority of the season, who is batting .223 with four home runs and 22 RBI in 233 at-bats. They've given youngster Josh Reddick a chance now that Drew has struggled so bad.
But with interest as heightened as it is, what can the Mets expect to receive from these two teams?
MLB Network's Peter Gammons was on the radio (WFAN) today and said the Mets "should expect to get back one really good prospect and a secondary prospect," according to Matt Cerrone of Metsblog.com. Gammons believes the Mets would be able to acquire Mike Minor and another prospect from the Atlanta Braves if the Mets went that route.
Alderson seems to be in the driver's seat right now with Beltran. While Beltran is older and may not run as well as he used to, he is still a tremendous hitter and a potential difference maker for the remainder of the season for a contending team. When he talks to the Phillies, he should begin by asking for talented (but raw) Brown and 21-year-old Jarred Cosart, the Phillies' best pitching prospect, who has a 4.12 ERA 1.28 WHIP and has allowed 85 hits in 96 innings while striking out 72. Another guy to ask for is a pitcher like Trevor May, who is lighting up Single-A. The overpowering stuff for dominance is there, but the results have not been just yet. When Alderson speaks to the Red Sox, who don't have the strongest farm system, he should be asking about someone like Reddick, outfield prospect Bryce Brentz, third base prospect Will Middlebrooks and/or 21-year-old pitcher Anthony Ranaudo. Not saying the Mets will be able to get any of these guys, but they should at least aim high.
Without going into every single trace of a rumor, let's discuss the big factors and teams involved in the Beltran race.
Buster Olney tweeted this morning that one of the biggest facotrs in a Beltran trade will be how much the Mets are willing to eat of his contract. Olney says that if the Mets are willing to "pay down the salary" every interested team will be in play, including a team like the Cleveland Indians. NY Post's Joel Sherman says that not many teams can take on $6 million in salary, saying: "Do they want salary relief or do they want to open up the field of interested teams by eating a lot of dollars, and get a better return?"
It's important to realize that fringe contenders that are in a need of a bat, but may not have the payroll flexibility of the big market teams would pay a more premium price if they have to take on less money. The only problem is, the Mets are not exactly in the situation to throw a lot of money away, considering their own financial predicaments.
If the Mets do decide to pay some of Beltran's contract, it's bad news for a team willing to pony up the money, rather than the prospects, like the San Francisco Giants, who desperately need an impact bat. Sherman says the Detroit Tigers are another team willing to eat salary ... but depending on how much cash the Mets are willing to send, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves could all be matches. The more money the Mets include, though, the more likely it is that they get a top prospect in return.
Besides the the importance of how much cash the Mets are willing to include in a Beltran trade, the other major component is whether the 34-year-old will even be moved. Newsday's Ken Davidoff says the Mets would have to draw five games closer to the Braves to keep Beltran. Currently, the Mets are 9.5 behind.
Let's face it: the Mets are a .500 team right now, and unless they go on a run and win 75 percent of their games from now until the deadline, I believe Alderson and the front office is smart enough to realize that getting value for Beltran, whom the Mets will not receive anything for in the offseason, is more valuable than anything. WIth the amount of teams seeking a bat for the middle of their order, Alderson should be in the driver's seat, as well.
Earlier in the week, New York Mets reliever Jason Isringhausen expressed his desire to general manager Sandy Alderson to stay a member of the Mets. It was a nice declaration, but if the move that was completed just minutes after the All-Star Game -- trading former closer Francisco Rodriguez -- was any indication, Alderson is open to making the quick move and he's ready to be active on the trade front, as long as it makes sense.
And trading 38-year-old Isringhausen, who really has no future with the Mets, makes perfect sense.
Alderson may have a trade partner, as the Arizona Diamondbacks are said to be looking at Isringhausen and Chicago Cubs reliever Kerry Wood as "seventh inning options," according to John Gambadoro who covers the D-Backs for KTAR 620 Sports in Phoenix.
There's no question that Izzy should be moved by July 31, and he would fit perfectly as a middle reliever on a contending team as he's got a lot of experience and he wouldn't be very costly. He currently has thrown 28 2/3 innings and allowed 21 hits while striking out 21. He has a 3.14 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.
The Mets probably won't get a prospect back worth too much, but it's still the right move to do. Add a young player or two to a system craving for some, and give a major league shot to a younger player for a few months, and it's a deal well done.
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson acted quickly to deal former closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Milwaukee Brewers -- sending him away mere minutes after the All-Star Game finished. Initial reactions were that this could be the first domino to fall in a cascade of moves the Mets will make prior to the July 31 deadline.
Only the next move seemed to be in the Mets' favor. Carlos Beltran has played at a superb level this season, with a .285/.377/.503 line to go along with 13 HR and 58 RBI and a league-leading 28 doubles, and many believe he's the next in line -- and assured -- to go. However, the GM remained non-committal about the future of Beltran in speaking to reporters in a conference call Wednesday. In fact, he was adamant in his belief that Beltran is pivotal to the Mets' playoff chances this season.
Here's the bit on Beltran, transcription courtesy of Metsblog.com:
"We have had conversations with other clubs about a number of our players - [Carlos Beltran]‘s situation is well known with all teams, not surprisingly...given his situation as well as his performance, there has been a lot of interest expressed...We have not pursued that interest to any great length at this point - rather, we have been focused with our play on the field. As I've said on occasion, I'd like to see Carlos with us as we continue this run. At some point, the interest already expressed by those clubs will be reaffirmed, and we will have some conversations. I do want to make it clear the Rodriguez trade should not signal anything to anyone about Beltran..."
The GM also remained firm that he is not giving up on the 2011 season just because he dealt his closer. Regarding other trade opportunities, Alderson sees the Rodriguez one as totally separate and unconnected to any others.
"I certainly would not draw any conclusions from this transaction," Alderson said as quoted byESPN NY's Adam Rubin.
Earlier in the day, ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted that there were up to seven teams indicating "real interest" in Beltran. Olney also said that the "Mets are looking for big-time prospect in return for Beltran, feeling as if they have the best available hitter in (for them) a seller's market."
Olney added that he gets the sense Alderson will hold out for this type of package and wait for a team to be aggressive and give him what he desires.
The Mets' GM is in the driver's seat and I have a feeling he's the perfect guy for this type of trade. He will undoubtedly play teams off of each other to ratchet up the price as well. With so many teams in need of an impact bat, he's in the perfect situation.
You won't find a bigger fan of New York Mets OF Carlos Beltran than San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson. Even before Wilson saw Beltran leg out an infield single to start a 4th inning rally in the National League's 5-1 victory over the American League in the All-Star Game, the bearded one introduced his squad's lineup on TV for FOX and couldn't hold back his enthusiasm.
"The guy's a phenomenal hitter, a switch-hitter. There's talks of him coming over to the Giants. More than welcome, come on over, pal."
But that wasn't enough for Wilson. After notching the save for the National League, Wilson told the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea that the Giants and Mets were working on a deal.
"I guess we’re in talks with them about Beltran. Just another perennial hitter. Could only help out a squad."
Wilson quickly tried to say he simply "heard a rumor", but with the two teams matching up perfectly and Mets GM Sandy Alderson having already traded Francisco Rodriguez long before the deadline, it's not crazy to think talks for Beltran could be advanced with the Giants.
Though the San Francisco Giants have been mentioned as the most likely landing spot for New York Mets OF Carlos Beltran, there shouldn't be a shortage of suitors when the team finally decides to pull the trigger on a deal. One team that has yet to pop up in the hunt for the All-Star is the American League champion Texas Rangers... until now.
ESPN's Jonah Keri tackled trades that "should" happen, including Beltran heading to the Lone Star state to play next to slugger Josh Hamilton.
Some questions need to be answered, such as whether Josh Hamilton could slide back to center field for the stretch run and be effective there, but there's no questioning Beltran's ability when healthy. The 34-year-old is hitting .288/.375/.506 in a pitcher's park and playing plus defense in a corner outfield slot. The Mets will also likely be happy to shed $6 million-plus in payroll. Acquiring power arms like Scheppers and Kirkman would sweeten the deal considerably, especially if Scheppers is fully recovered from past shoulder troubles and more recent back issues, and if Kirkman can refine his command. If the Rangers pick up all of Beltran's remaining salary, it's possible he could cost a little less, too.
Beltran has more than shown he can play everyday in the field this season as the Mets most durable player but would benefit from the occasional day as a DH that an American League team like the Rangers would offer. Texas also boasts one of the better farm systems in baseball, making them a preferred partner of Mets GM Sandy Alderson.
To those holding out hope that Beltran will be in a New York uniform for the rest of the season, there is little chance of that happening. Short of the Mets making a run over the next few weeks and climbing over a few teams in the wild card standings, Alderson is not going to allow Beltran to walk at the end of the season for nothing.
The next few weeks are do-or-die time for New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson as he decides whether the Mets are contenders or pretenders. Despite their play of late, the Mets are still 10.5 games out of first place and 7.0 games out of a Wild Card spot. Safe to say, with a GM and front office as Alderson and his staff, the Mets will look to get any return they can on some of their players who pique other teams' interest.
One of the names to come out recently, because he'd pitched surprisingly very well in relief, is Jason Isringhausen. With a 3.14 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 28 2/3 innings, the Mets have turned someone who was basically on the scrap heap into a potential trade chip. Sources have confirmed with the New York Daily News that Alderson was "exploring the market" for Isringhausen, Francisco Rodriguez and Tim Byrdak. Only problem, with regard to Isringhausen, is that he doesn't want to be moved.
As quoted by the Daily News:
"I have two places in my heart...St. Louis, because I'm from there, and New York, because this is where I started. Those are my two favorite spots, and I don't think I'm going back to St. Louis anytime soon. And I love it here...To be able to get close, or maybe even make the playoffs, coming from a team that wasn't supposed to do anything, that's fun..If there is a chance that we can do that, I want to be a part of it...I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, let alone next year, but for the next year, I want to remain a Met. I signed here to be a Met, and that's how I want to finish the season. It would be great to keep everybody intact."
At 38, Isringhausen is just the type of player that would benefit the Mets in a trade. Basically pay nothing to bring him onboard, trade him at the deadline and get a low-level prospect who potentially turns into something. Now that Isringhausen's preferences are known, what teams will really express interest in a player who's said he only wants to play in two cities? This makes Alderson's job tough, but you have to believe the GM will talk to Isringhausen about this (possibly behind closed doors) and let him know what the team's plans are with him.
"It's an expression of preference, and I take it into account, and weigh it accordingly," Alderson said.
While it's commendable to see that Izzy wants to remain in New York, he doesn't have a no-trade clause and he really doesn't have a say in whether he's moved or not. Alderson's job is to make the Mets better -- and particularly, that "better" will be considered in terms of the teams future and bringing in young players. It still remains in the GM's best interest, to move a veteran like Izzy, despite the hurler's wishes.
New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez may not be the overpowering pitcher he once was -- and he may have lost a little juice on his fastball -- but he doesn't plan to let that diminish his market value, whether he's a free agent after this season, or in 2012.
How do we know this? According to MLB.com, Rodriguez has switched agents from Paul Kinzer to Scott Boras. Boras, as we all know, will get his client the maximum contract possible. "Bargain" is not a word in his vernacular.
Of course, this comes at a strange time considering Rodriguez has a $17.5 million option that will be triggered if he finishes 55 games or more this season. He currently has finished 34 games this season -- with 23 saves. He has a 3.16 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 42 2/3 innings, with 46 strikeouts. Thus, it's easy to see this option vesting, which is a huge reason why the Mets appear to be poised to shop him before the July 31 deadline (and also a reason why suitors will be scared off)
But, if for some reason, he doesn't reach the "games finished" clause, Boras will surely do his best to get him a very lucrative contract, that we can be sure of.
As the trade deadline approaches, one of the things writers, bloggers and broadcasters do is try and connect the dots between rumors, what teams want and what teams appear to be willing to trade off.
Early Saturday, the San Jose Mercury-News printed a report that suggested that San Francisco Giants general manager would be willing to acquire rental players this season, something he's been against in the past, probably because he isn't willing to move some of his young talent (whether that's in the minors or majors).
The Giants "have to be more open-minded because of the situation we're in," Sabean said. That situation, has become dire without catcher Buster Posey. The Giants rank 27th in the league in runs, 25th in batting average, 25th in on-base percentage and 25th in slugging percentage. They have maybe one player in their everyday lineup -- Pablo Sandoval -- that teams would want in theirs.
Connect the dots and realize that the Mets have several pieces that are destined to be moved by July 31, they are currently in San Francisco -- and Carlos Beltran is one of those "rental" players whom the Giants could seek to infuse some offense into their lineup.
Prior to the game Friday night, National baseball writer for the San Francisco Chronicle John Shea spoke with Beltran, whom (notably) Giants coach Bruce Bochy also named to the NL All-Star team.
"I have made it clear to the organization that the only way I'd accept a deal is if it's to a team that's contending," the Mets' outfielder said. "Right now, we don't know what the interest of the Giants is."
Shea said on his twitter that Beltran "hinted" that he'd waive his no-trade clause to go to the Giants. But, as Matt Cerrone of Metsblog.com wonders, how good is Shea at reading body language? And even more importantly, New York is playing competitive baseball right now, and its right fielder has been a key member.
Regardless, Beltran's availability will probably be looked into by the Giants within the next several weeks. ESPN's Buster Olney said that in order for Beltran to be traded, "Mets would probably have to eat $5-$7 million -- and take Grade B-/C+ prospect."
Is it worth it? Time will tell.
Basically, the Mets moving to 44-42 on the season has made the team "relevant" and means that the next two weeks before the deadline are crucial for Alderson's decision of whether to trade off pieces or trade because they're contenders. He says that if the team can keep it together over the next dozen or so games, he "owes it to them to keep it intact" according to ESPN NY's Adam Rubin.
And even though it's July, Alderson said it's too early to have serious discussions with potential trade partners at this point.
"First of all, there's a question of our direction and making that determination internally," Alderson said. "But to actually do anything, if you're referring to trades, requires more than one party. And even though we're in July, it's still a little bit early for most clubs to fully engage in serious trade discussions. Whether we want to do something or not, it may not be an option for us at this point."
Either way, it seems as if July 31 -- "a bright line, if you will" -- is the date (or at least near it) the Mets will really be making moves, or sticking with the current team. Alderson believes there is no real advantage to moving players now, as opposed to waiting out up until the deadline.
And if the Mets do stay in contention over the next two weeks, they do theoretically have Johan Santana in their back pockets. Alderson still considers Santana as someone who will pitch this season, but not someone who will be a true "contributor." He thinks it will be a "progression" toward pitching in 2012.
"We look at Johan as someone who should pitch this year, if he can," Alderson said as quoted by Metsblog.com.
Here's my gut reaction: Alderson looks around for trade partners regardless of the way the Mets play (unless is 12-0), but if they Mets play .500 or better he will be more stingy when it comes to a possible deal. If they fall to under .500 on the season before the deadline, Alderson will pursue every potential avenue for a trade.
The New York Mets continue to play baseball at a level that nobody expected them to play at. Currently a game over .500 after Tuesday's shellacking of the Detroit Tigers, the Amazin's are five games out of the wild card spot, and beginning to move up the NL East standings as well.
Part of the reason of their surge has been the hitting contributions from right fielder Carlos Beltran. Not only has he played 77 of the team's 79 games -- when in the preseason doctors expected him to play only several times a week on his wobbly knee -- he is batting .281 with a .373 on-base percentage and .489 slugging percentage. He has a team-leading 11 home runs (the only one in double digits) and a team-leading 53 RBI.
At this point in the season, the Mets are a contender, but before Tuesday's win, he acknowledged that he may not be in New York come the July 31 deadline, and that he's willing to waive his full no-trade clause, in which he can block any deal.
From the New York Post:
"The team is always going to do what is best for the team, and as a player you have to make a decision if the trade makes sense or not," Beltran said.
Does that mean wanting to play for a contender?
"That's correct - if it happens," Beltran said.
Of course this makes it easier for general manager Sanday Alderson to explore trade routes, but Alderson also needs to gauge when David Wright will be back. Trading Beltran now will open up a huge hole in the lineup -- and also right field. The Mets need to keep the offensive production up ... and besides Jose Reyes as the catalyst, Beltran's been the huge driving force.
Outfielder Carlos Beltran has reportedly told the New York Mets he would waive his full no-trade clause in a move to contending team. Mets' fans and the team's manager, Terry Collins, need to face the reality that the team is not a legitimate contender, despite currently being above .500, and that they best thing for the financially burdened franchise is to move the 34-year-old for prospects and salary relief.
With that in mind, here are five potential landing spots for Beltran, who is having a resurgent season with a .281 batting average, 11 home runs, 53 RBI and a .373 on-base percentage.
San Francisco -- Despite the loss of star catcher Buster Posey the defending World Series champs are leading the NL West thanks to their oustanding pitching staff. The Giants, though, remain offensively challenged. First baseman Aubrey Huff leads San Francisco with eight homers, and with 41 RBI he is the only Giant player with at least 30 runs batted in. For the sake of contrast, the Yankees have six players with more home runs than Huff and and five players with more RBI.
St. Louis -- Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols is current out with a fractured forearm. though he should be back before the trading deadline. The Cardinals, though, could look to boost their offense with Beltran as they try to catch the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central -- especially if they believe Beltran could return to center field for a couple of months.
Philadelphia -- Other than Shane Victorino (.291/9/31/.357) the NL East-leading Phillies are getting almost no offensive production from their outfield. They simply have not replaced Jayson Werth, lost to Washington in free agency. Moving Beltran to the Phillies, though, would require the Mets to stomach sending him to a division rival.
Yankees -- This, of course, would require GM Sandy Alderson and the Mets brass to stomach an even more bitter pill -- shipping one of their best players across town. Right fielder Nick Swisher and designated hitter Jorge Posada are hitting much better than they did early in the season, but there would still be at-bats in the Bronx for Beltran as a right-handed DH, as a replacement for Andruw Jones (.213, four home runs) as the right-handed part of what is basically a left field platoon with Brett Gardner and as possibly as a left-handed hitting compliment to Swisher in right, since Swisher is hitting only .211 left-handed.
LA Angels -- The Angels made a big move for veteran outfielder Vernon Wells in the offseason, but that is not working out as Wells in hitting just .219 with 10 homers and 26 RBI. Anaheim trails Texas by just 1.5 games in the AL West and if they really want to stay in the race they will need more offense. Beltran could provide it.
The New York Mets have a number of candidates who figure to be sent packing come the July 31 MLB trade deadline. Besides position players like Jose Reyes (who looks to be staying, for now) or Carlos Beltran, closer Francisco Rodriguez could be another trade chip for a team looking to bolster its bullpen.
Even though his priority is to remain a closer if he's traded, K-Rod is open to setting up as well. Thursday he told the New York Daily News that he'd consider a role change if he's deal to a contender.
"If I am going to be traded, obviously I want the opportunity to close out games, but if it's going to be good teams like the Yankees or the Rays, and it's going to be for two months, I can go out there and help them out," Rodriguez said.
K-Rod is in the last year of a three-year, $37 million deal that includes a $17.5 million option that automatically kicks in if he finishes 55 games this year. He currently has 28 games finished this year. If he is considered a set-up guy for a contending team, then this vesting option would obviously not be exercised because saves would be few and far between.
K-Rod has 20 saves, a 3.25 ERA and 1.42 WHIP with 41 strikeouts in 36 innings this year. Not nearly as dominating as he once was, Rodriguez would still be a nice piece for a contender to have in its bullpen.
He has 10 teams included in his no trade clause, but doesn't expect it to be a stumbling block if the Mets try to deal him.
"Honestly I don't even know what (teams) are on the no-trade clause, I haven't even been asked about that yet," Rodriguez said. "I mean I would definitely love to stay here, but I have to be open to every possibility out there right now."
Wednesday, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he was not against making trades with the Mets.
"I've done three deals with them and they were all pretty big," Cashman had told The News. "(Armando) Benitez was a big name. (Robin) Ventura for David Justice was kind of big deal, our need for their need.
"But it's complicated because ... no one wants to make a mistake in their own backyard. ... No one's going to make that type of mistake too easily. The only way you would typically line up to do something is if the opposing side is so motivated to move whatever they've got."
Expect Mets GM Sandy Alderson to explore every possible avenue for a trade, including with the team from the Bronx. For a team that's cash strapped and in somewhat of a "re-molding" mode, also expect him to try his best to send K-Rod packing within the month.
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson took the first step in his attempts to keep Jose Reyes in New York last week when he approached his agent about what the superstar shortstop's financial demands would be. Amid the tenuous financial position the Mets are in, there's no doubt that this was a very positive sign.
Only problem for the Amazin's: Reyes' agent, Peter Greenberg, informed Alderson on Monday that after speaking with Reyes at his house in Long Island for two hours Monday, that Reyes does not want to discuss his contract during the regular season.
"Right now I don't want any distractions," Reyes said as quoted by ESPN's Adam Rubin. "I just want to continue to play. We're going to have plenty of time in the offseason to make this happen."
Alderson was obviously trying to take the first step in determining what Reyes would want so that he could also weigh whether it would be worth it to trade Reyes at the deadline based on financial demands that Mets' ownership would just not be able to meet. He said he has no problem with Reyes' request -- and he basically inferred that Reyes would remain a Met for the rest of this season, whether they are sellers or not.
"All I wanted to suggest was if we're playing lousy, it doesn't mean Jose is gone," Alderson said. "That's basically the point I'm trying to make. If we are playing lousy, are we a seller? Generally speaking -- maybe, probably."
Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez figure to be moved prior the July 31 trade deadline. When -- and if -- they are, Alderson doesn't feel pressured to include the Mets' most dynamic player.
While Alderson said this initial effort doesn't mean the Mets are a sure guarantee to keep Reyes in town, the 28-year-old just wants to concentrate on playing baseball and definitely would like to remain a Met long-term.
"Nothing changed," Reyes said. "I want to stay here. Like I've always said, I want to be a New York Met all my career."
As Rubin also pointed out in another story, Alderson was wary of negotiating with Reyes last offseason after a season in which he was ravaged by a variety of nagging injuries and could have come at a relative discount. Now, Alderson is behind the eight ball and Reyes will certainly be the one to dictate the amount of his next contract.
New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson knows fans of the team want free-agent-to-be shortstop Jose Reyes signed to a long-term deal to stay in Flushing. Considering current circumstances, though, Alderson can't guarantee that he can make that happen.
During an appearance Monday on the Mike Lupica Show on ESPN Radio New York Alderson would only say "We're gonna see how that works out."
Reyes, 28, is having the best season of his career to date and has been the subject of constant trade rumors considering his impending free agency and the Mets' financial situation. Alderson said he would be reaching out to Reyes' agent "relatively soon."
The Mets have flirted with the .500 mark this season and Alderson was non-committal at this point as to whether the Mets would be a buyer or seller at the upcoming trade deadline.
"I think a lot will depend on how we play over the next six weeks. The next six weeks will establish where we are," Alderson said. "Will that affect every decision we make? No, but it certainly will have an impact as it would on any team. How you're playing really determines whether you are a buyer or a seller."
Alderson was also non-committal on the future of closer Francisco Rodriguez as a Met. K-Rod has a $17.5 million vesting option if he finishes 55 games for the Mets this season.
"There's no question that if he does vest it affects our payroll going forward. At the same time he's pitched extremely well and he certainly would be a valuable asset to us," Alderson said. "Once again we have to see how we play. Like a lot of other things with the Mets these days we just have to let it play out."
-- See Pinstripe Alley for more discussion and analysis of the Yankees
Reports surfaced Friday night that Scott Boras was courting New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, and that the 28-year-old was considering a switch of agents. While the Mets' chances of re-signing Reyes were already iffy, such a move would have been catastrophic to their chances of reining in their superstar talent.
ESPN's Adam Rubin posted an update to the Reyes-Boras sitatuion -- and he heard from a source that Reyes was happy with his current agents.
Prior to Saturday's game, Reyes was quoted as saying, "No chance" that he switches agents.
"Scott Boras went to Colorado [to visit me in early May], but we didn't have a chance to meet together. I saw him at the stadium and said hello, but nothing else happened. I'm happy with my agents.
"[Scott and I] talked a couple of times on the phone. He's always tried to get me since the minor leagues, but like I said, I'm happy with my agents."
This is very good news for the Mets. Boras is the king of maximizing value for his clients and playing teams off of one another to get the highest contract possible. With Reyes' production this season (and when healthy), at a position with a dearth of offense, Boras easily would've gotten Reyes a premium contract.
Of course, that's not to say Reyes' current agents won't do the same for their client, but we all know the history of Boras ... and it's never to the benefit of potential suitors.
New York Mets' Jose Reyes said he "wants to stay here," just days ago when speaking to Mike Francessa on WFAN. If the latest news from Sporting News' Ken Rosenthal is true, then Reyes may have made his wishes that much more difficult for the Mets to grant come this offseason.
Rosenthal says that super-agent Scott Boras is talking with Reyes about becoming his representative, citing major league sources.
Peter Greenberg is currently Reyes' agent and as Rosenthal says, "a switch to Boras almost certainly would reduce his chances of resigning with the Mets."
"Boras prefers his clients to establish their values on the open market. The Mets are unlikely to keep Reyes unless he accepts a lesser deal," Rosenthal writes.
Reyes has been the best player on New York Mets this season, already worth 4.2 wins above replacement -- second-highest in the league (his career-high is 6.4), according to Fangraphs.com. Without him, there's probably a case to be made that the Mets could be one of the worst teams in the National League, especially without David Wright, Ike Davis and Johan Santana in the lineup. Instead, they're towing the .500 line because of Reyes' .344/.387/.524 line with 24 stolen bases.
Rosenthal says that it's not illegal for agents to speak with other agents' clients and that Boras met with Reyes in the Dominican Republic over the winter and again during a trip to Colorado in May, according to his source. The shortstop also had meetings with other agents in spring training, though it's whether Boras was one of them remains unclear.
If the Boras and Reyes links prove to be true and Reyes signs on with him, this would be a huge blow to the Mets' chances of retaining Reyes past this season. Boras is the king of getting ultimate value for his clients, and there's no doubt that Reyes will command a hefty paycheck in the offseason. Carl Crawford's seven-year, $142 million deal (with no Boras representing him)? There's a good chance that will easily be shattered with Boras at the helm for Reyes.
How much longer will Jose Reyes be a member of the New York Mets? The star shortstop, about whom trade rumors have circulating, joined Mike Francesa on WFAN Thursday to discuss his future with the Mets.
Reyes as Mets fans well know, can be a free agent at the end of this season. Considering the financial ruins the Mets are in, owner Fred Wilpon’s statement that Reyes is not worth the $140 million or more he would be likely to get on the open market next offseason and the fact that any number of contending teams would love to have him, Reyes rumors will be rampant for the next few weeks.
It would seem the Mets almost have to trade the 28-year-old, who is having the best season of his career at this point (.348 batting average, 23 stolen bases and a .921 OPS).
Excerpts of Reyes conversation with Francesa are below. The full transcript is available via Sports Radio Interviews.
Have you ever played better than this or put together a better stretch of games?
"I don’t think so to be honest with you. The good thing right now for me is being healthy. I went to spring training 100 percent and able to play at spring training. I think that helped me out a lot. I know the last two seasons were difficult for me to stay healthy on the field. This year I was able to put it together."
Do you see yourself spending the rest of your career with the Mets?
"No I love it. Of course man. I said that before, but at the same time I don’t want to put anything on my mind. I just want to continue to play and people know that I want to stay here. At the same time I understand that this is a business and I don’t know what’s going to happen like I said the only thing I can control is to continue to play and continue to play good."
What are you saying to the fans that want you back?
"You have to continue to support me. I’m still here with the New York Mets and I’m going to continue to give 100% for this team and you have to continue to support me. I appreciate that. Right now the only thing I can control is to continue to play baseball and continue to play good."
Only time will tell. Best guess, though, is that in the end the Mets and Reyes will have to get used to life without each other.
His transition from center field to right field has been flawless, and his hitting this year has been much better than expected as well. With a .282 batting average, nine home runs and 35 runs batted in on the year, Beltran is on pace for 23 HR and 90 RBI on the season. His line of .282/.366/.512 is also very impressive, thus he will undoubtedly be someone a playoff-caliber team will seek.
The Mets also plan to sweeten the pot, as Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweeted that, "Once selling begins, mets said willing to eat some of beltran's $18.5M salary if they can get good prospect(s) for him."
Michael Baron of Metsblog.com also notes that the Mets cannot offer Beltran arbitration at the end of the year, meaning they cannot be given a draft pick if they can't sign him. Hence, the reason Sandy Alderson would be willing to pay some of Beltran's contract.
It's pretty obvious that the Mets' front office realizes the importance of infusing the minor league system with some higher-end young talent, but it remains to be seen what type of prospects teams will be offering up for a 34-year-old with a chronic knee problem.
Jose Reyes has been the centerpiece of discussion of most of the New York Mets trade rumors. With his contract expiring at the end of the year, a 27-year-old shortstop as dynamic as Reyes (but with an injury history) is thought to be out of the Mets' price range because of what's gone on with the Wilpons' finances.
Many Mets fans are clamoring for the team to keep Reyes, a homegrown product at a very thin position, and according to Adam Rubin of ESPN NY, there is a way for the Mets to keep him -- and that's trading David Wright, possibly next offseason.
Rubin cites a source familiar with the Mets' thinking, and says that the team can ill afford to hold onto Reyes (he ballparks his new contract at $17 million a year) and Wright ($15 million in 2012), along with Johan Santana ($24 million) and Jason Bay ($16 million). Seventy-two million dollars would conceivably be going to only four players, which would comprise about 60 percent of the payroll if it falls to the rumored $120 million.
What makes Wright more tradable than Reyes is that he still has two years left in his contract in addition to this year, with a $16 million team option in 2013. He's also in his prime and one of the top players at his position.
"If they wanted to move Wright, there's no better time to move him than now, because there still will be teams out there thinking, 'Well, David Wright was sabotaged by the stadium. He's still a good player. He'd be a good fit where he doesn't have to be the guy,' which he's been here for so long. So they can get some return on Wright. Plus the fact that he has two years left on his deal, so you're not talking about long-term financial damage for any team that does pick him up."
Do I see the Mets trading Wright? I don't think they will, but I believe that Sandy Alderson will explore every possible avenue to figure out how to bring back the right pieces to make this team competitive and make these players fit into the new payroll constraints the Wilpons have laid out, which is currently at about $142 million.
It's worth noting that Andy Martino of the NY Daily News spoke to a source that said "no serious internal discussions about [trading Wright] have occurred."
I expect we'll be hearing a lot more Mets chatter like this in the near future.
From the page you can RSVP to attend the Friday June 3 game against the Atlanta Braves.
In announcing their plans, the trio writes:
This is a day to celebrate JOSE REYES and to let the mgt know we will not take it lightly if they do the stupid thing and trade one of our fav homegrown boys! So buy your ticket to this game and wear your finest JOSE tee or jersey and bring a sign or 2 telling how you feel!!!!!!
The group wants to meet at the Shea Bridge in the top of the 5th inning.
Fans, however, seem unlikely to get their wish. Reyes is in the final year of his contract, is having the best season of his career, and owner Fred Wilpon has already said he does not believe the shortstop to be worth the money he is likely to seek.
Even if he is worth the money, the question is whether or not the financially-troubled Mets can afford to pay Reyes. In truth, trading him for the salary relief and the hope of getting a decent return might be the wisest course of action for general manager Sandy Alderson.
The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is over two months away -- July 31 -- but it's never to early to discuss rumors. After all, hearing all sorts of trade rumors, and then seeing different moves come to fruition is basically fantasy baseball turned real life -- and these acquisitions mean something.
For the New York sports teams, the trade deadline always spurs all sorts of chatter, however, this one for the New York Mets has a whole different meaning. For the first time in a very long time, the Mets will likely have chips to trade, pieces to move to help buoy a post-season hopeful's chances. There is a better than 50 percent likelihood that the Mets will be sellers at in the coming months as even despite the $200 million bailout (so to speak), they are still far from operating at a financially healthy capacity.
The biggest trade chip for the Mets is Jose Reyes, a 27-year-old shortstop that oozes ability and has game-changing talent. With his contract set to expire at the end of this year, Reyes will certainly command a hefty (long-term) raise from the $11 million he's making in 2011, and it doesn't seem like a. New York will have the money and b. GM Sandy Alderson wants to commit a good chunk of resources to a player who's been injury prone throughout his career.
To me, the Amazin's have to keep Reyes -- there are just far-too many average-to-below-average shortstops in the league, and very few explosive ones in the midst of his prime. The Mets need to rebuild, but I'm not sure getting rid of a premium talent at a weak position is the way to do it. If and when Reyes leaves, the Mets shortstop position is likely to go to Ruben Tejada, a slick fielder, but someone who has a .272 career average in the minors and no power.
If Reyes is indeed going to be traded, who are the frontrunners (in my eyes, subject to change) for his services?
1) San Francisco Giants: Sure, the Giants just won the World Series with pitching. However, they rank close to last in most of the major offensive categories and are still only five games over .500. They also just lost Buster Posey, the NL Rookie of the Year and a key cog to their playoff push last season, and they currently start Miguel Tejada at shortstop, who is batting .221/.242/.285 on the year. Anything the Amazin's could get in a trade would help, but nothing is better than young pitching with upside -- and the Giants have a bevy of top-flight young arms (Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, Madison Bumgarner, Zach Wheeler, to name a few).
2) Cincinnati Reds: Don't get me wrong, the Reds have one of the better offenses in the leagues as evidenced by their MLB-best 250 runs. However, they start Edgar Renteria (.233/.323/.267) at shortstop and have one of the better farm systems in the league. They have a number of young arms (Travis Wood, Mike Leake, Homer Bailey), and possible fill-ins for Reyes (Zach Cozart, Billy Hamilton), plus great catching prospects and Yonder Alonso, a first baseman-turned-outfielder, who continues to hit in the minors despite skepital scouts.
3) Los Angeles Angels: Call me crazy, but with the Angels in second place in a weak AL west and a spark needed in their lineup, Reyes would be a great fit -- even besides the fact they're using Erick Aybar at shortstop (.309/.354/.421), who's having a good year but is not nearly as talented as Reyes. The Angels won't trade top prospect Mike Trout, but they do have a pretty stacked farm system (ESPN's Keith Law ranked them sixth overall). Jean Segura was a second baseman but moved to shortstop and is hitting .285/.354/.431 in Class A -- and scouts drool over the fact he has no weaknesses in his game. The Angels also have a number of good arms and Hank Conger at the catcher's position who could possibly entice the Mets. I like the Angels as a fit, assuming they are interested and the Mets target Segura.
4) Boston Red Sox: You can't mention a top talent in the MLB and not mention Boston. Ranked 11th overall by Law, their system may have taken a hit with acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez, but they have very strong low minors teams (three first-round talents taken in last year's draft, according to Law). Plus they have a swift fielder in Jose Iglesias at shortstop to offer back, as well as pitcher like Anthony Ranaudo, their supplemental first rounder taken last season who would definitely entice Alderson.
5) Toronto Blue Jays: I wasn't going to consider them, but given the fact that reports surfaced that their GM, Alex Anthopoulos, contacted the Mets during spring training about the plans for several players, which included Reyes, I have to include it. The Jays are in the chase in a very tough AL East, and they are lacking a game changer at shortstop (Yunel Escobar is just OK). The Jays have the fourth-best farm system, and talented young arms in the rotation (Brandon Morrow, Ricky Romero, Kyle Drabek). Brett Lawrie, an athletic third baseman, would be a great get, but it's doubtful he'd be moved. Not saying it's going to happen, but they certainly have the pieces to move that Alderson would like (plus the Toronto connection with J.P Ricciardi).
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