Appreciating Carlos Beltran; Wondering About Return To The Mets

There are a lot of people who tell me if the New York Mets aren’t in the playoffs, and if there’s no arch enemy such as the Yankees to root against, they don’t bother watching the playoffs.

Too bad, because they missed a classic Friday night, and another example of Carlos Beltran’s post-season excellence to marvel over.

BELTRAN: I would take him back. (AP)

BELTRAN: I would take him back. (AP)

Beltran will be a free agent this winter, and because the man can still play and one must wonder if the Mets will make a run at him.

You do remember, that rather than pick up his $18.5-million option, the at-the-time rebuilding Mets chose to trade him to the Giants for Zack Wheeler.

I understood what the Mets were doing at the time, but even so I always appreciated Beltran, who is arguably one of the top five position players in franchise history.

I don’t know if Beltran is a Hall of Famer, but he’s a very good regular season player and an off-the-charts October performer.

Beltran drove in all three Cardinals’ runs and threw out a runner at the plate in a scintillating 3-2 victory over the Dodgers.

Add them up now and Beltran is hitting .345 with 16 home runs, 12 doubles and 34 RBI in 40 career postseason games. He also has 42 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. He’s played in October with the Astros, Mets and Cardinals, but has never played in the World Series. He is, however, an eight-tim All-Star.

“It’s just fun to watch him do his thing,’’ Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said last night.

A lot of Mets’ fans don’t want to hear that as they are instead they are caught up on one pitch Beltran took for a called third strike to end Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS.

Hopefully, Mets’ COO Jeff Wilpon was able to convey that to Beltran, along with the organization’s apologies for how his tenure in Flushing ended. You’ll remember, with the competitive part of the 2009 season over, instead of Beltran having knee surgery they opted to bring him back to play in 19 meaningless September games and was eventually shut down.

Then, in the offseason there was a snit between him and the organization – when Omar Minaya was still general manager – over knee surgery and Beltran had it on his own.

Beltran, as the team player he is, had no problem moving to right field for first year manager Terry Collins. Then came the trade for Wheeler and again the remembrances of the called third strike he took from Adam Wainwright.

That was a monster pitch that froze Beltran. It would have frozen Ted Williams. It would have frozen Babe Ruth. It was that good a pitch.

Instead of appreciating what Beltran gave the Mets during his tenure. Instead of acknowledging how he played hurt for the Mets, including with a broken face after his horrific collision with Mike Cameron, a great many Mets’ fans failed to recognize what they had.

Beltran, a free agent this winter, said he’d be open to a return to the Mets. I’d love for him to finish out his career here, where he’d take the pressure off David Wright and would be a tremendous influence to the Mets’ young outfielders in Juan Lagares and Matt den Dekker.

Then, when 2015 rolls around with Matt Harvey’s expected return, we might enjoy seeing Beltran in another Mets’ October.

4 thoughts on “Appreciating Carlos Beltran; Wondering About Return To The Mets

  1. I think you are thinking of Frankie Rodriguez when you mentioned trading him and not picking up his option. Beltran didn’t have an option year left on his deal at the time of the trade…he signed a 7 year deal and was in the 7th year. He was going to be a FA…which is why they traded him.

    I do agree he was a great and underappreciated Met. In terms of him coming back, I’m not sure how likely that is at this point. He is probably getting close to the end of his career and I think he’d want to go somewhere where he has the best chance to win. The Mets are building towards that and may be a good team next year, but he might want a team that has already shown themselves to be a contender. Though maybe if he gets the ring with the Cards this year, he’d consider coming back to the Mets as some kind of unfinished business. But at this point I don’t think the Mets would be at the top of the list. And in terms of things for the Mets to consider…he is older and while he has still hit well these last couple years his defense has been pretty bad so maybe he’s not the idea guy for them to invest in. Though then again, 2 years of Beltran might still be more affordable and better long term than giving someone else 5-6 yrs.

    • applesauce: They did trade Frankie Rodriguez to avoid option. But, Beltran also had an option where if he left the Mets wouldn’t get compensation. If they kept him it would have cost them $18.5 million.-JD

  2. I for one would like to see Beltran back
    At the end of his career here he was the best hitter on the team and still played a good OF.

    As the poster above says I don’t know why he would come to a team that will not win.

    But I would like to see him here. I also think it was a good trade by Sandy. Flip a player you wil not bring back for a front line starter