In a post to his blog on the NY Post, Joel Sherman says that Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran is furious with the Mets and that he may be looking out for “number one” in 2010 as far as his return from injury. Sherman writes,
When might Carlos Beltran get on a major league field? Beltran is furious with the Mets and how they have publicly handled his surgery. He wonders if he should have been playing last year (in other words, was he properly diagnosed?). More important, he pushed to initially play in pain and then rush back in a lost season.
The Mets probably should not expect Beltran to prioritize the team this time around. He turns 33 in April. His contract walk year is 2011. So I expect that Beltran will take care of No. 1 and make sure he does not do anything to hurt himself for a 2011 salary-drive season.
First of all, unless your name is J.J. Putz, I think all ballplayers look out for number one. However, I do believe that the Mets may have seriously damaged their relationship with the all-star center fielder, and they may have set Beltran upon a course that will ultimately lead him to another team.
I don’t expect Beltran to even attempt a minor league rehab until he is absolutely 100% recovered from the knee surgery. Once he begins rehab, even the slightest twinge will have him back on the DL. Whereas last season, Beltran was willing to play in some pain to help the team, don’t expect that to happen this season. Especially with Scott Boras calling the shots. Any willingness to go out of his way to help the Mets has been shattered by the Mets inept handling of his injury last season, and last month’s surgery fiasco.
There’s a good chance that the estimated 12-16 weeks Beltran was expected to miss is actually a best case scenario and that his eventual return could come sometime in July rather than in May or June. When he does finally return, look for Beltran to quickly get back to his pre-injury form in preparation for his walk year next season and his last chance for a big multi-year deal.