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Carlos Beltran is having a surprisingly strong season, with eight home runs and 16 doubles. The most important number this year, however, is 51—the number of games he's played out of 53 total.
Beltran has been ravaged by injuries since coming to the Big Apple, but this season—his walk year—he has been more fortunate so far.
Still, the Mets are 8.5 games out of first place and in the midst of a financial crisis. Those factors suggest that changes will be coming in the near future, and the once-beloved core of this franchise—Beltran, Jose Reyes and David Wright—could be broken up.
Mets owner Fred Wilpon didn't exactly show his attachment to Beltran (or Reyes, for that matter) recently, when he claimed his once prized free-agent signing is now "65 to 70 percent of what he was."
Beltran has adjusted to his shift at right field, but he would probably be best suited as a designated hitter who occasionally gives outfielders a day off. Would he be a fit for the cross-town rival Yankees, who more or less employ a DH-by-committee?
Perhaps, but that still doesn't seem likely—especially with the Yankees already sporting an aging lineup and trying to remain loyal to relegated DH Jorge Posada.
But Beltran would still be a good fit for other clubs looking to pick up a switch-hitting bat, and it seems probable the Mets will try to move him before the deadline.