Carlos Beltran to the New York Yankees? Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post recently floated the idea of the New York Mets trading the switch-hitting right-fielder to the Yankees.
Without getting into Vaccaro's case for, and against, such a deal I thought the idea was an intriguing one. The Yankees have more offensive problems than you might realize if you don't want them consistently. As for the Mets, as well as they are playing the playoffs seem like a pipe dream. The 34-year-old Beltran is in the last year of his contract, and the Mets could use the salary relief and the prospects trading Beltran could provide.
Chatted over instant message with Amazin' Avenue editor Eric Simon, and he was actually a bit taken aback by the notion that the Yankees have problems on offense.
"Are you kidding? They have the second-highest run total in the AL," was his reaction.
Yet, right-fielder Nick Swisher is hitting .217. Unhappy designated hitter Jorge Posada is hitting .165. Andruw Jones, another DH/outfield option is hitting .237. Brett Gardner is hitting .250. The Yankees have lost nine of 12 and the biggest issue most nights during that stretch has been an inability to score. That is where Beltran, 34, comes in. He is hitting .285 with eight home runs, 24 RBI and a .569 slugging percentage. He is an improvement over just about any outfield candidate the Yankees have other than Curtis Granderson, and an improvement over any possible DH they could run out there.
"Assuming they [the Mets] fall even further behind they should absolutely entertain trading Beltran to anyone. If the Yankees offer the best package of prospects there are plenty of good reasons to trade him across town," Simon said. "I'm not convinced the Yankees should trade for Beltran. Their pitching, in the long run and notwithstanding the offensive "slump" of the last few weeks, will likely need the most help."
Pinstripe Alley head honcho Travis Goldman is all-in on a potential Yankee move for Beltran. Here is his take, sent via e-mail:
There are really no starting pitchers worthy of interest for the Yankees. Johan Santana, the only one that might, hasn't thrown an inning this year, so I'm crossing him off the list.
Carlos Beltran would seem to make the most sense. As he's now a right-fielder, he could fill in for the struggling Nick Swisher or at DH for the even-more-struggling Jorge Posada. If he stays healthy, Beltran is on pace for his best year since 2006. He's also 34 and in the last year of his contract and due $18.5M this year. It makes too much sense for the Mets not to trade him. The question for the Yankees is: How much to give up for him? His 167 OPS+ makes him very valuable. His contract status and age do not. Assuming the Mets are unwilling to pay any of Beltran's remaining contract, the Yanks wouldn't have to give up as much in terms of prospects.
I admittedly don't know a lot about the Mets farm system, but I've read they could use a young catcher. That is something the Yanks have in spades: Jesus Montero, Austin Romine, J.R. Murphy and Gary Sanchez. I think a fair trade would include Romine and a mid-level pitching prospect (think Hector Noesi, David Phelps, Graham Stoneburner, etc.). While Beltran is having a tremendous year, his true talent is not 167 OPS+; he's due to regress. And he's been hurt in recent years, is on the wrong side of his prime, and is still owed $14M.
That said, there's always the "Yankee Trade Tax," in which potential trade partners often ask for more from the "big, bad Bombers" than they do from other clubs. But a Beltran trade, in the end, makes sense for both sides.
Your thoughts, Yankees and Mets fans? Trades between the two New York teams don't happen often -- especially big ones. Is this one that should get serious consideration?