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Carlos Beltran has started out slow as a Giant, he'll need to pick up the pace as the Giants start a big home series against Arizona.
This is a no-brainer. This is the big trade, the biggest for the Giants franchise since perhaps the trade for Steve Bedrosian.
Carlos Beltran immediately fills a gaping hole in the Giants lineup. Bruce Bochy has him situated perfectly in the No. 3 slot, in front of Pablo Sandoval, who is the only hitter in the Giants lineup that can protect a hitter like Beltran.
Beltran has started out slow—too slow. Giants fans will give him a few games to get himself on track, but he needs to start hitting, and he needs to start now. Beltran can't get runners on base in front of him or drive himself in when he gets on base, but his presence in the lineup allows the others to bat in spots that are best suited for them.
Sandoval has been on fire since Beltran's arrival, but as has been the case all year, the other bats have been snoozing. Bochy has to find the right combination of hitters game to game, and with a little luck, the Giants may score a half run more per game because of Beltran's bat in the lineup. He will hit, and the Giants will be a significantly better team because he is in the lineup.
The Giants gave up Zack Wheeler to get Beltran. Wheeler was the consensus top prospect in the Giants organization, and by all accounts, the Mets did well to secure his services. While it isn't easy for any team to part with its top-rated prospect, the Giants were in a unique position that allowed them to make this trade without significantly weakening their team going forward.
The Giants strength is their pitching, both starters and relievers. The staff is relatively young and somewhat controllable, at least for a year or two still. Wheeler was most likely two or three seasons away from impacting the big league team, and even then there may not have been room for him.
In two or three years, the Giants will have to make some difficult, big-money decisions about the core of their championship team: the pitching staff. Having the ability to let someone walk as a free agent because Wheeler was ready and waiting in the wings would have been a great luxury to have, but a lot can happen in two or three years. Obviously there is no guarantee that Wheeler will ever even make to the big leagues, and Beltran is a proven, veteran hitter.
The Giants have an opportunity to do something extremely special: repeat as World Series champions. Zack Wheeler doesn't help them do that this year, but Carlos Beltran does, which is why Brian Sabean made the deal.