Carlos Beltran And Angel Pagan Have No Regrets

Angel Pagan is going to the World Series and Carlos Beltran is not. It is the third time in his career Beltran fell short in the NLCS. Of course, you remember 2006, so there’s no reason to rehash that painful memory.

PAGAN: Was he pointing west?

Just let it fade away. You’ll see, in time it will be just a dull ache rather than a sharp twinge.

When you look at the seasons enjoyed by Beltran and Pagan, naturally there’s the thought of what if they had stayed, but the truth is neither were destined to stay in New York. Beltran was always a mercenary and Pagan came here as a plug-in.

That’s also how they left.

To understand why neither have regrets leaving Flushing, despite a stated admiration for their former teammates, it is important to understand how, and why they left. In both cases, it was an unceremonious departure.

For Beltran, the Mets’ financial house of cards was starting to crumble and despite a strong first half in 2011, there was no way they were going to pick up his option. The Mets were thinking younger and cheaper, which is why they were willing to replace him in center with Pagan in the first place.

Beltran had been largely mistreated and not appreciated by Mets after he took that third strike from Adam Wainwright he had no chance of hitting. Although he played hurt and injured, and produced when he was healthy, Met fans always wanted something more from Pagan. An extraordinary switch hitter, it was expected he’d become another Mickey Mantle. Nobody could reach that level, although Beltran is arguable one of the top five position players the franchise had, in a group that includes David Wright, Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter and Mike Piazza.

The key moment in the breakdown of the Mets-Beltran marriage came when in the delay in undergoing surgery in 2009. When it was clear the Mets were out of things late in the second half, rather than having Beltran undergo surgery, then GM Omar Minaya foolishly opted to bring him back in September when it was clear he couldn’t play.

Then Minaya got in a spitting match with Beltran in the offseason about surgery to the point where the outfielder had surgery on his own. Consequently, Beltran missed most of the 2010 season and was a health question going into 2011.

Mets management under Minaya made it impossible for Beltran to the point where he wouldn’t want to come back. It was a relief for everybody when he was traded to the Giants for Zach Wheeler.

Following Beltran out the door was Pagan, also to the Giants, when they dealt him to the Giants for deadweight outfielder Andres Torres and reliever Ramon Ramirez, the latter two who have likely seen their last days as Mets.

Pagan seemingly had a breakout year in 2010, but became moody and despondent – it was later revealed he suffered for depression – and he regressed, returning to lapses of concentration in the field and giving away too many at-bats at the plate.

The same reason why the Mets acquired him – a change of scenery was needed – was the driving force for the trade. The Mets hoped moving on would made a difference for Torres; the Giants thought the same about Pagan.

It happened only for Pagan, now a postseason star for the Giants. Both Pagan and Beltran are happy to be gone. You should be happy for them because there was no way they were staying.



2 thoughts on “Carlos Beltran And Angel Pagan Have No Regrets

  1. Beltran was given a very rich contract do to his outstanding post season the year before. When he came here he seemingly wilted under the limelight creating resentment that he was not the player to lift us on his shoulders. When Delgado came here Delgado was the one to carry the team and Beltran and Wright flourished. After Delgado left Beltran seemed to have matured and was able to shoulder the weight and played well when not hurt. He became the center of the lineup that he seemingly could not handle when signed. I remember Omar walking away when things got too testy and the owners bringing in the Vice GM to spit on Beltran. So I chalk up the enmity with Beltran over the knee surgery to Fred. I agree that Carlos never got his due in part because initially he did not seem to earn his contract although he was a gamer and earned my respect. In trading Beltran we got back a minor league pitcher who is presumably a staff leader. We shall know shortly how good a trade it was.

    Pagan was a cast off we picked up. He had that one really good year surrounded by forgettable ones. When they traded him it was obvious that Torres was a downgrade. The reason offered for the trade was the pitcher we got as part of the package who also did not deliver. So while the trade was understandable due to our bullpen issues it was not a good trade. I wouldn’t have done it, but it was not a centerpiece trade. My understanding was that Pagan was up for arbitration and his cost was going to be over what he was worth.

  2. Dave, Beltran played hurt the entire first year. Perhaps that caused some of the drop in performance? If you look at him overall, the man earned his contract, and then some.
    As for the FO/Ownership issue, well, Omar and Tony were morons, and the Wilpon’s aren’t very smart as they’ve shown over the past few years with comments about players.