MLB Trade Rumors: Who Has Their Eyes on Carlos Beltran?

John EwenContributor IIIJuly 13, 2011

MLB Trade Rumors: Who Has Their Eyes on Carlos Beltran?

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    When the New York Mets traded closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday, Carlos Beltran took the role of the "next guy."

    Getting rid of K-Rod was likely the first of a few moves in order to keep Mets superstar Jose Reyes in the blue and orange, but Beltran's stay in the Big Apple is likely to end a lot sooner than Jose's.

    Many teams have reported interest in Beltran, who sports a bat that can help propel a team into the playoffs. But where is the best fit for the 34-year-old outfielder?

Boston Red Sox: 55-35, First Place in AL East

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    The Sox are in first place in the American League East, but it's only a one-game lead over those dreaded Yankees from New York.

    Boston's infield core has propelled them into their first place spot, but the outfield leaves much to be desired.

    Darnell McDonald, J.D. Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury compose the starting outfield, and Ellsbury is the only one of the three having a decent season. Drew's batting .229, and McDonald's below the Mendoza line at .143.

    Combined, the two have 30 RBI and six homers. Beltran's batting .285 with 13 dingers and 58 RBI. That's almost double the production of Boston's center and right field.

Tampa Bay Rays: 49-41, Third Place in AL East (6.0 GB)

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    Joe Maddon's squad in Tampa has been putting up a fight.

    They dealt out their big names Crawford, Pena, Garza, and Soriano. They've had to deal with the stacked teams in Boston and New York in the East. Yet they still remain in the hunt.

    Like the Red Sox, the Rays need help in the outfield. Matt Joyce earned a spot on the All-Star team, yet his companions in center and left have not been performing with the bat.

    Super Sam Fuld has been putting a show on with the leather in left but has some weakness with the bat.

    As for B.J. Upton, he finished the first half of the season on a bad note, as his throwing error cost the Rays the last game before the break.

    I think Boston is in more need of Beltran's duties than Tampa Bay, but the Rays might be involved in the Beltran sweepstakes nonetheless.

Texas Rangers: 51-41, First Place in AL West

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    Hamilton and Beltran. An outfielding duo that boasts bats that can make any pitcher shiver in nervousness.

    Conflicting reports about Texas' interest had arisen, with owner Nolan Ryan stating Beltran's knee is too big of a risk.

    Texas is set in the outfield as it is. Nelson Cruz has been having a good season. Josh Hamilton is Josh Hamilton. Endy Chavez has impressed me in the 33 games he's played this season. Or maybe that's just my Mets fandom bleeding through.

    The Rangers have no need for another outfielder, plain and simple. I of course type this as the picture of Endy's 2006 NLCS catch hangs above my wall.

    Yeah, I see no reason for the Rangers to move Chavez, err, any outfielder for Beltran.

Philadelphia Phillies/Atlanta Braves: First and Second in NL East

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    These two scenarios are stretches, especially since the Mets would probably prefer to move Beltran outside of the division.

    Both the Phillies and Braves need help in the outfield. Beltran is the biggest outfielder on the trading block. It would make sense for Atlanta and Philadelphia to throw offers out, but the question is will the Mets even hear them out?

    Obviously, if someone in the NL East makes a strong offer, the Mets will need to take it into consideration. Again, this is the least likely of any the scenarios, but it is still something to keep in mind.

    Then again, picturing Beltran wearing a jersey with "Phillies" or "Braves" stamped on the front is an image I'd like to keep out of my head.

San Francisco Giants: 52-40, First Place in NL West

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    It makes too much sense to not happen.

    Beltran has shown interest in San Francisco. Giants closer Brian Wilson said there have been talks between the Mets and the Giants about Beltran.

    Wilson praised Beltran. The team is in need of run support.

    The Giants haven't been the same hitting team since Buster Posey went down, and getting Carlos Beltran in that lineup can provide the spark the team has been missing since the catcher hit the DL.

    Cody Ross, Andres Torres and Nate Schierholtz make up the Giants starting outfield. Beltran could replace any of those guys and be a huge improvement.

    The Giants have the pitching. Now they just need the bats to hold off the Diamondbacks in the West.

    Carlos, get accustomed to McCovey Cove. You'll be seeing it a lot in your future when you join the reigning world champions in the coming weeks.