Jul 28

An appreciation of Carlos Beltran

The inevitable happened and Carlos Beltran is now a member of the San Francisco Giants, where he has an opportunity to atone for taking strike three against Adam Wainwright in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS.

One thing for certain is he wasn’t going to get it from the Mets, even had he stayed.

BELTRAN: Should be remembered positively.

After two injury riddled seasons and the Mets’ financial empire crumbling, we knew Beltran wouldn’t finish out the year. Saddled with a contract that didn’t allow compensatory draft picks, the Mets had to get something before he walked this winter.

General manager Sandy Alderson did as well as could be expected in getting one of the Giants’ top pitching prospects in Zachary Wheeler. He did so because San Francisco has a young and loaded rotation. F0r the Giants to repeat, they need a bat and Beltran was the best on the market.

In theory, the trade could help the Giants win this year and the rebuilding Mets in the future.

Unquestionably, Beltran’s agent, Scott Boras, played a persuasive role, as he made the impression to his client that with several salaries coming off the books next year, the Giants could have the resources to make an extension.

In dealing Beltran, the Mets gave up arguably the franchise’s most complete position player, even over Darryl Strawberry, David Wright and Jose Reyes. Beltran has all the tools and the Mets were lucky to have him. Unfortunately, too many Mets’ fans have a block on Beltran, and he hasn’t received the appreciation warranted a multiple All-Star.

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Jul 27

REPORT: Beltran to Giants.

Although the Mets haven’t confirmed it, several media outlets are reporting the team agreed to a deal with San Francisco for outfielder Carlos Beltran in exchange for top pitching prospect Zach Wheeler.

In addition, the Mets will pay $4 million of the roughly $6.5 million remaining on Beltran’s contract.

Calls to the Mets and Beltran’s agent, Scott Boras, have not been returned.

Beltran has been held out of the lineup for tonight’s game at Cincinnati, and manager Terry Collins expects the deal to be finalized by tomorrow. Beltran has 24 hours to approve the trade. Beltran has not reported to the Mets’ clubhouse in Cincinnati.

With Beltran in the final season of a seven-year, $119 million contract – and with his contract not allowing arbitration and subsequently compensatory draft picks – it was a formality coming out of spring training Beltran would be dealt.

Five teams – the Giants, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston and Texas – emerged as the favorites, but Boras said the determining factor was which team has the best chance to win.

It had been speculated with catcher Brian McCann’s injury last night Atlanta might sweeten its offer, but the Braves held firm on not wanting to part with their pitching prospects.

Likewise, Alderson held his ground on demanding a top pitching prospect, which defines Wheeler, 21, who throws a fastball in the mid-90s with a fall-off-the-table curveball and a change-up with movement.

Some scouting reports have Wheeler three years away – he’s currently in Single A – but that’s to be expected for such a young prospect.

In the end, Alderson made the best possible deal considering his limitations. Beltran was going to walk at the end of the year and the Mets would not get any compensation.

 

Jul 27

McCann injury could open way to Beltran deal to Braves.

The latest has the Mets closest to working out a deal involving Carlos Beltran to San Francisco or Texas, with Philadelphia and Boston lagging behind. But, that’s now and four days remain.

McCANN: Injury could shift Braves' priorities.

The Braves have been adamant about not giving up their prime pitching prospects, notably Mike Minor or Julio Teheran.

However, out of necessity, their thinking might have changed with last night’s 19-inning victory over Pittsburgh when they lost catcher Brian McCann indefinitely with an oblique strain. These are tricky injuries, as Mets’ fans are aware of with Jose Reyes. Two weeks on the DL could easily become three or four.

With Chipper Jones’ knee ailing, and Jason Heyward and Nate McLouth not hitting, the Braves are in desperate need of a power bat, which might cause them to reconsider at least Minor.

The Braves sought offense even before McCann’s injury, and now their needs are more pressing. They are the frontrunners for the wild-card and have enough pitching to win in the playoffs. But, they need to get there first, and that will take some runs.

Publicly, the Braves are saying they aren’t close with the Mets on Beltran, but privately it is another matter.

Beltran’s agent is Scott Boras and so far he has not made any indication of wanting to make a deal contingent on a contract extension, so this will mean nothing more than a rental.

 

Jul 27

Today in Mets’ History: Trio of homers pound Braves.

One characteristic of the 1986 Mets was their explosiveness. Not only did they dominate with pitching and the ability to manufacture runs, but they could take over a game with one big inning.

On this day in 1986, that inning was the third when the Mets broke through for five runs on consecutive homers from Gary Carter, Darryl Strawberry and Kevin Mitchell en route to a 5-1 victory at Atlanta.

Rick Aguilera gave up eight hits in the complete-game effort.

With the victory the Mets moved to 64-30 as they ran away with the NL East.

BOX SCORE

 

Jul 26

Santana to pitch Thursday

The Mets announced today Johan Santana will make his first rehab start Thursday at Port St. Luice and make 45 pitches. Figuring no setbacks, perhaps we’ll see Santana by mid-August. What do the Mets have to gain by pitching Santana with the season all but lost by then?

SANTANA: Expected to pitch this week.

Obviously, Santana will not have pitched enough by the end of the month for anybody to risk a trade. The key for Santana is to gain peace of mind so he won’t have to go through the winter wondering about the spring.

Pitching this year will also enable Santana to judge where he is physically and what his off-season pitching workouts will be like.

It’s tempting to say watching Santana could help the Mets gauge their pitching needs over the winter, but he wouldn’t have made enough starts for them to get a definitive picture. Even if Santana pitches well the last six weeks of the season and during spring training, he’ll need to go deep into 2012 before we know if he’ll hit the wall as pitchers often do the year after surgery.