I’m not in the business of offering up trade proposals, as I find they are either ridiculously one-sided (I read recently on this blog Duda, F-Mart and a minor league pitcher could get Justin Upton here) and/or unrealistic (the D-Backs need pitching, not more outfielders). But what I can do is look at the Rangers roster and see which of their young players would fit on the Mets and/or who they might be willing to trade back.
What the call about Beltran tells me is that the Rangers don’t expect to re-sign Vlad the Impaler. Vlad probably earned himself a two year contract this offseason from an American League team. They are more likely to want Beltran for one year, knowing he’ll hit the market after 2011 and that DH torch can be passed to Chris Davis. That’s fine, as Davis is not a fit for the Mets, anyway.
The Rangers do sport a AAA left fielder named Brandon Boggs. He played primarily left field, and I don’t know about his defensive capabilities to opine on his effectiveness in right field, where the Mets would need him. I would imagine he’d be capable enough. What I love about Boggs is that he’s a switch hitter who’s seemingly equally as effective from both sides. In 2010, he had an .828 OPS batting right-handed and an .888 OPS batting left-handed. He had significantly more at bats left handed, but that’s a normal split as most pitchers are right-handed. He has decent pop, but his effectiveness can be found in his ability to reach base; never in his professional career has he had an OBP lower than .350 (save for his cups of coffee in the majors). Boggs is the only player in the entire Rangers minor league system that appears in the top five of both OBP and SLG%.
The downside to all that is he’d probably not be available in a trade for Beltran. But that would be the top name on my list if I was Sandy.
Getting pitching in return for Beltran is iffy to me. From a Rangers standpoint, I wouldn’t think of trading a major league ready pitcher for Beltran’s one year, especially since that pitcher would likely have had recent success at a high minor league level to be desired by another team. And from the Mets standpoint, I wouldn’t think of accepting in return a pitcher two years away. Waiting those two years puts Wright and Reyes (assuming both are still Mets) on the wrong side of 30 and wastes a couple of Pelfrey’s prime years. The impact Beltran’s compensation will provide should be at the very least later this season as a call-up, if not immediate.
David Murphy is an interesting case. With MVP front-runner Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz firmly planted in left and center fields, the Rangers only need one more starting outfielder. Murphy’s had three full seasons with Texas, and has improved each season. He’s not a great defender, but he’s not a bad one at all at his best position, right field. He’s entering arbitration, so the Rangers might have reason to dangle him, especially if they feel the cost-controlled Julio Borbon is over his sophomore slump in which he put up an absolutely dreadful .276/.309/.340 slash line.
To me, it doesn’t make sense to trade Beltran, unless Boggs (or a similar prospect from another team) is offered. I would much rather pay $18 million to Beltran on the assumption he plays the way he did in September, knowing full well he may not perform to that level or could get hurt and not perform at all, than pay near 40% of his contract for someone who won’t be a Met this year, or someone who might put up average numbers. To me, the reward is far greater than the risk in Beltran’s case, not the other way around.