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.