MMO Mailbag: Should We Target Carlos Beltran?

The Mets are in need of a center fielder. They should just sign Carlos Beltran. He won't cost that much because he is 34. Sign him for two years and that will solve they're problems. What do you think? --Jacob Chalif

There are many ways to go about answering this question and many things that need to be considered. First off, there’s a little worry about Carlos Beltran’s ability to handle CF. Remember, Beltran played RF all of last year because of concern about his knees. Although he looked fine out there, to make the move back to CF with the Mets would still be somewhat drastic. If Beltran is somehow re-signed to the Mets, he’s probably going to be in RF and Angel Pagan will be in CF.

Pagan is arbitration eligible again and after a small decline in numbers and PA, his value won’t skyrocket. It’ll probably be somewhere between 4 and 5 million. It’s very likely the Mets are going to re-sign Pagan at that price to handle CF. In addition, Jason Bay is pretty much a lock in LF with his contract, so that just leaves RF.

The price tag for Carlos Beltran may be much higher than you imagine. His season line was .300/.385/.525 (22 HRs, 39 2B, 84 RBI) which is still above average. He spent time on the DL in August with a right hand injury but the important thing was, for the most part, his knees were pretty good the entire season.

His agent is Scott Boras, which means one thing: A ridiculous contract. That means you can expect Beltran to have an asking price of anywhere from $11-18 Million and he’s going to be looking for a multi-year contract. Sandy Alderson is not going to be the one to overpay for Carlos Beltran, so the likelihood of him returning to the Mets is very low.

If it was as easy as offering Beltran a 2 year deal for $20-22 Million, I would definitely give it a long look. Of course, it’s nowhere near that simple. Considering his bat is still very potent, it’s likely he’s going to get offers from AL teams to be a DH and he’s definitely going to get an offer from the Giants, whom he has granted first crack at him regardless.

Bottom line is that even though Beltran is turning 35 for next season, he is not going to come cheap nor is he going to come on a short term deal. I can only wish it was that easy. What you should expect to see happen is that Pagan will get a contract and Bay will stay in LF. RF is looking like it belongs to Lucas Duda.

Here’s a question for the readers – Grady Sizemore‘s option is almost certain to be declined by the Indians because he underperformed. If he’s healthy, do you throw an incentive based deal his way and hope he can return to form or give RF to Duda? Fernando Martinez is unlikely to give him any competition.