Carlos Beltran, potentially a future former Met, has the national stage in tonight’s All-Star Game to showcase his talents for a potential trade.
Of course, if teams have been paying attention during the first half they will know he’s physically holding up, that he’s adjusted to right field without a problem, and is playing well.
Beltran will start tonight as the designated hitter and bat second.
The Mets have exceeded expectations at 46-45, but are 11 games behind the Phillies and 7.5 behind Atlanta for the wild card. The only concession the Mets are making toward investing for the future is saying it is unlikely Jose Reyes will be traded.
Not so with Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez. Beltran knows the Mets are trying to move him, and jerked around by the organization over his knee surgery, his relationship with the team isn’t warm and cozy despite his guarded comments yesterday at the All-Star media sessions.
“A lot of teams this time, they’re looking to improve, some others are looking to rebuild,’’ Beltran said. “Right now, the Mets are playing good baseball. I like where I am. We’re having fun and we just hope to continue to improve.’’
Beltran is in the last year of a seven-year, $119 million deal. Roughly $9 million will be paid Beltran in the second half, but if the Mets aren’t a contender, and they know they won’t bring him back, their best option would be making a trade.
San Francisco and Boston are two of the teams with a reported interest in Beltran.
Beltran went through this in 2004 when he was with Kansas City, so he’s treading familiar waters.
“I guess that experience makes you understand the business side of baseball a little better. You can’t take it personally,’’ Beltran said. “Having the no-trade clause gives me a little bit of control. I will choose if I like the trade. This is my 12th year in the big leagues, so at this point, all I want is to win and to have the opportunity to be in the playoffs.’’
Beltran’s agent is Scott Boras, who recently convinced Francisco Rodriguez to abandon his agent. Paul Kinzer to sign with him. On the surface, dumping Boras shows loyalty isn’t one of Rodriguez’s strong suits, so the Mets shouldn’t expect anything from him.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he doesn’t know how signing with Boras will impact Rodriguez’s future with the team. Rodriguez said he would accept a deal to a contender and work as a set-up reliever if there’s a contract extension in the picture. If Rodriguez completes 55 games this season, a $17.5 million option will kick in, and that’s something the cost conscious Mets can’t afford.
Boras will not make things easy for the Mets regarding Rodriguez.
“Francisco Rodriguez is a historic closer,’’ Boras told reporters yesterday in Arizona. “He’s not going anywhere to be a setup man. … Closers don’t make good setup men. Does anybody want an unhappy setup man in their clubhouse?’’