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.