The more I think of it, the less I believe the Mets will pull off a significant deal at the trade deadline involving Carlos Beltran and/or Jose Reyes.
The Mets would love to rid themselves of the balance of Beltran’s contract, but several scouts have reportedly said they couldn’t recommend a trade for the often-injured outfielder based on his age, salary and injury history. Even should Beltran stay upright and hit until late July, there is the fear he could break down as he has in each of the previous two seasons. I see a team not going overboard on the players it would send the Mets, but also envision the reluctance or not wanting to pick up the rest of Beltran’s $18.5 million contract at the end of July.
It would be too risky a move for a contender, especially if there are other alternatives on the market. Why take that risk when the odds are Beltran will hobble again between now and the end of the season? Any team interested in Beltran is likely to wait until the winter when it wouldn’t have to surrender talent and would have the leverage in the money.
For now, the Mets are waiting for a desperate team.
As far as Reyes is concerned, he’s seeking big dollars, reportedly a $100-million plus package, and from now until the end of July is too small of a window for the Mets to ascertain he’s worth that gamble.
Unless the Mets are willing to offer a negotiating window, the most likely scenario would have a team offer limited prospects to procure Reyes as a rental. Such a case would be a low-risk, high-reward position for the other team, but not in the Mets’ best interest. It would be tantamount to giving him away, and July is too early to make that call.
The Mets aren’t inclined to go long-term with Reyes now, and are waiting to see if he holds up this season health wise. In addition, GM Sandy Alderson is waiting for a break in the Mets ownership’s financial crisis to even see if they they have the resources to make such a signing. Alderson had stated there’s enough to retain Reyes, but probably do little else.
If the Wilpon’s situation shows now signs of resolution by the end of the season, and right now there’s little hope there will be, it’s easy to see the team cutting ties with Reyes and letting him walk.
A healthy Reyes has the potential to be a dynamic player, but it is too soon to tell. Reyes is hitting well, but he’s still below at what Alderson wants to see in terms of on-base percentage and making things happen on the bases.
It sounded good, dealing Beltran and Reyes to save money and bring in a long list of talent, but the truth is the Mets aren’t dealing from a position of strength and nobody is willing t0 do them any favors.