There are a myriad of issues surrounding Carlos Beltran that make him logically impossible to deal, but there reports out of Boston the Mets and Red Sox are talking.
Undoubtedly, it is Boston’s cobra-mongoose struggle with the Yankees that has the Red Sox thinking about adding Beltran.
The Red Sox have a hole in the outfield and the designated hitter to slot in on an occasional basis (don’t forget David Ortiz will get most of those at-bats after the trade for Adrian Gonzalez).
Clearly, the Red Sox would be gambling to catch lightning in a bottle with Beltran in his walk year as worth taking the risk on the outfielder’s balky knees and $18.5 million salary.
Scott Boras told reporters today that nobody has approached Beltran about waiving his no-trade clause, but thta doesn’t mean the two sides are not talking, only that nothing is close yet.
Reportedly, the Red Sox are willing to part with Daisuke Matsuzaka, who will make $10 million in each of the next years. So essentially, the Mets would be trading a bad one-year contract for a bad two-year contract.
And, if the Mets have to eat about $8.5 million of Beltran’s contract to make the trade work, then what’s the benefit? They wouldn’t open up any payroll room because they’d still be on the hook for Beltran’s balance and Matsuzaka’s salary plus the latter’s salary for 2012.
The Mets would be trading the hope of Beltran bouncing back to hoping Matsuzaka will rebound. Yes, the Mets need pitching, but would Matsuzaka really help them?
That Boston is so eager to get rid of Matsuzaka should tell you something about what the Red Sox think of his ability to turn it around.
The one thing certain about the Mets and Beltran is this will be their last season together. Clearly, the Mets want to clear the books and think ahead to 2012. Beltran is not enamored with the organization for how it handled his knee problems and is seeking one more payday.
The Mets would like to trade Beltran, but their best hope for a good return will be if he gets off to a good start and stays healthy and they are able to swing something at the deadline.
Hope. That’s the best word to describe the Mets’ immediate prospects for 2011.
The Mets have actually been in a place similar to this before, the year was 1972.