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.