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.