Aug 10

The best of Beltran over?

Remember all that talk in early July about how things would be different when Carlos Beltran returned from the disabled list.

BELTRAN: Are the good times over for him?

Getting Beltran back was like making a trade for another bat and it would only help the Mets and possibly spark them into making a run.

Some rust was to be expected, but nothing like this. Beltran isn’t hitting, he’s a step or two slow in the outfield, and his presence has forced Angel Pagan to play out of position.

Based on the numbers, both Beltran’s and the team’s W-L record, it appears the Mets pushed his return too soon. And, batting clean-up and playing center was a definite mistake.

But, he’s going to keep playing. That won’t change. Hopefully, he might play well enough for a team to make a waiver deal for him, although with $18.5 million remaining it’s a longshot anybody would claim him.

The Mets, of course, have to test those water to see what interest is out there if any. Thinking practically, nobody would trade for Beltran with that contract and injury history, leaving one more year of this for the Mets next season. Beltran’s value to the Mets lies in the potential of his recovery, of which there’s been little positive signs.

Assuming this is the end of the line for Beltran as a full time productive player let along being a star, then it doesn’t bode well for the Mets.

Along with Beltran, the Mets are saddled with contracts of $12 for Oliver Perez and $6 million for Luis Castillo. That’s roughly $40 million, or maybe 25 percent of their payroll on non-productive players.

So, it’s hard to imagine any substantial additions or spending in the offseason. It’s hard to imagine 2011 being much different from 2010.