MLB Trade Rumors: New York Mets' Carlos Beltran Reports and Speculation

Ash MarshallSenior Analyst IJuly 27, 2011

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Mets' Carlos Beltran Reports and Speculation

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    New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran has been linked with a number of teams over the last week, most notably the Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox.

    Others, like the Pittsburgh Pirates, have been reported to have limited interest, while teams like the Cleveland Indians have already been told that Beltran does not have them on a list of potential clubs he would accept a move to, regardless of the fact they would be willing to pick up his remaining contract.

    The general consensus is that Beltran will not fetch an elite prospect like the Mets had first hoped. A large part of this is because teams are not willing to part with a stud in exchange for the two-month rental of a player who is not eligible for arbitration this winter.

    Some beat writers are saying the Mets are coming close to lowering their expectations of which Minor Leaguers the team can acquire.

    Read on to find out what the latest news is from the baseball writers and industry insiders, which prospects are already off the table and who I think the Mets have a more realistic chance of landing.

Boston Red Sox

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    The Latest News

    Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Red Sox are interested in Beltran and Gordon Edes says the Mets have spent significant time at Triple-A Pawtucket, Double-A Portland and Class A Salem.
    scouting outfielders Reddick and Ryan Kalish, shortstop Jose Iglesias, pitchers Anthony Ranaudo and Felix Doubront and third baseman Will Middlebrooks.

    David Schoenfield, also of ESPN, said he did not believe the Red Sox even need Beltran. He said the team could acquire a cheaper right-handed bat than Beltran, that the team won't face too many elite left-handed pitchers in the playoffs and that they should focus on upgrading the rotation.

    WEEI's Alex Speier says talks have only been in the preliminary stage.


    Who the Mets Aren't Getting: The Reports

    Edes also quotes a Red Sox source saying "We're interested in Beltran, but the price would have to be sensible...We lost a lot of good prospects for (Adrian) Gonzalez and want to protect our better minor leaguers."

    Edes says the Mets are unlikely to get any of the top prospects they want and Newsday's Ken Davidoff says they are unlikely to get an elite A-prospect from anyone.

    Who They Could Get: My Speculation

    Let's assume Anthony Ranaudo and Jose Iglesias are totally off the table, as media reports have suggested. I don't think Middlebrooks is as untouchable as people believe, but I'm pretty sure the Mets will be looking at other players instead of a third basemen who could very well be in Triple-A Pawtucket by the end of the year.

    Doubront is a more likely option, although a combination of players like outfielder Bryce Brentz and first baseman Lars Anderson may not be a bad place to start if they refuse to part with their elite talent. As with the Rangers, it's probably less than the Mets are willing to accept, especially considering that Anderson is slowly on his way to 'bust' status.

    Chance of Beltran going to Boston: 20 percent

Philadelphia Phillies

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    The Latest News

    Jim McCormick of Philadelphia Sports Daily reports the Phillies are more likely to pursue a hitter than a pitcher at the trade deadline, but that it would have to be the Mets who blink first.

    The Phillies are reportedly unwilling to pay the price the Mets have asked for, McCormick says.

    WLKY says the Phillies are also in talks with B.J. Upton, which may stop a dampener on any move for Beltran.

    Who the Mets Aren't Getting: The Reports

    Domonic Brown isn't going anywhere, so the Mets can forget that idea, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark.

    Jon Heyman of SI also reports that Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart are off the table.

    Who They Could Get: My Speculation

    Brody Colvin is a right-hander currently at Class A Advanced Clearwater alongside battery mate Sebastian Valle. Both are several years from the majors and would be unlikely to contribute until 2013 at the earliest.

    Neither are guaranteed to make an impact, and the Mets don't have a pressing need for a catcher.

    Someone who could make a much quicker impact is Justin De Fratus, currently at Triple-A Lehigh Valley after 23 games with Double-A Reading of the Eastern League. Whether the Mets want another right-handed reliever is in doubt, but it's unlikely they would be interested in someone who's a B-prospect at best.

    Chance of Beltran Going to Philadelphia: 20 percent

Atlanta Braves

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    The Latest News

    Ken Rosenthal of Fox says the Braves will add an outfielder before the deadline, but that it will be a complicated process considering the options they have on their current roster and the other players (B.J. Upton, Johnny Gomes, Ryan Ludwick) they're also considering.

    Who the Mets Aren't Getting: The Reports

    ESPN's Jayson Stark says Julio Teheran, Mike Minor and Arodys Vizcaino are off limits and a talent evaluator on MLB Trade Rumors said Randall Delgado is also unlikely to be included in any move.


    Who They Could Get: My Speculation

    The Mets want a pitching prospect from the Braves and that appears to be a problem, even though the club's top four players on the farm are hurlers.

    Carlos Perez is probably the next best pitcher, but the teenager is still in Class A Rome and won't move up a level until 2012. After him, then you're probably looking at Paul Clemens, a 2008 draft pick now at Mississippi of the Southern League.

    Looking at other players who may be available, Edward Salcedo is a toolsy talent who can play third or short, but he is also several years away from making in to the big leagues. Matt Lipka and Tyler Pastornicky also play shortstop, with the latter already at Triple-A Gwinnett in his third year of pro ball.

    If the Mets are planning their future without Jose Reyes, Pastornicky projects as a prototypical leadoff hitter with great speed and a good eye. He's not a top prospect like Teheran and Minor, but packaged with other players, could be a nice addition.

    Chance of Beltran Going to Atlanta: 30 percent

San Francisco Giants

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    The Latest News

    SI's Jon Heyman says the Giants may be in the front running for Beltran.

    This was a sentiment echoed by Yahoo's Jeff Passan, who added the Texas Rangers are a close second.

    Who the Mets Aren't Getting: The Reports

    ESPN's Jayson Stark says Zack Wheeler and Gary Brown are off limits and WFAN reports first baseman Brandon Belt is also a no-go.

    In addition, CBS, quoting WFAN, says that San Francisco general manager Brian Sabean is on the fence about trading for a short-term rental, saying,“I think we need to upgrade...[but] I don’t believe there’s one silver bullet.


    Who They Could Get: My Speculation's Jonathan Mayo ranks Francisco Peguero as the No.4 Giants prospect, but he's received a lot of negative publicity on fan blogs for being a C-rated prospect.

    Second baseman Charlie Culberson could be a better addition than the outfielder, as could Eric Surkamp, a big left-hander who has excellent command and is currently tearing up the Eastern League with Double-A Richmond.

    Chance of Beltran Going to San Francisco: 50 percent

Texas Rangers

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    The Latest News

    ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says the Rangers have increased their pursuit of Beltran. He also says that agent Scott Boras says Beltran's decision will be based on his chances of winning a title.

    Joel Sherman of the New York Post went to his social media account to say the club is looking at the possibility of a two- or three-player deal, which may include Texas.

    Who the Mets Aren't Getting: The Reports

    T.R. Sullivan, the beat writer for the Rangers, says Jon Sullivan has refused to discuss specific scenarios, but pointed out that the team doesn't have a massive surplus of minor leaguers after moving prospects in earlier trades over the last four years.

    KFFL says the Mets are not going to get Martin Perez, thier top prospect.

    Who They Could Get: My Speculation

    Jurickson Profar is a future stud in the making and would be a great steal for the Mets. I haven't read anything saying the Rangers would not move him for Beltran, but considering just how highly he is ranked, I think it's virtually impossible this happens.

    So, who's next? Well, first-rounder Tanner Scheppers (LHP) and third-rounder Robbie Erlin (RHP) are highly touted, and Engel Beltre could be a solid outfield replacement for Beltran in a year's time. He's also a left-handed bat for the lineup.

    Pitcher Robbie Ross is probably much lower than the Mets would like to go, but as a flame-throwing southpaw, he could be a nice part of a package deal to shore up the bullpen if they converted him from a starter.

    Assuming Perez and Jurickson are not going anywhere, Scheppers and Ross for Beltran and $6 million would be a massive bargain for the Mets.

    Beltran's desire to avoid AL teams and his reluctance to DH must be balanced against his will to be traded to a No. 1 team.

    Chance of Beltran going to Texas: 40 percent