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Mets Shouldn’t Pay Any of Carlos Beltran’s Contract

I keep reading that Sandy Alderson is willing to pay all of the $6 million left on Carlos Beltran’s contract in a trade in order to get a better prospect. I say this is a terrible idea — the Mets should not pay a dime.

The Mets have what so many contenders crave — a power bat who can make a difference in a pennant race. Not only that, he is the top bat available. The Mets are dealing from a position of strength here. One of the teams desiring Beltran (and there are reportedly many) should pay through the nose to get him.

beltranThe only way Alderson should pay anything is if a team is offering a top notch, can’t miss prospect along the lines of a Jason Heyward or Freddie Freeman or Mike Stanton or Starlin Castro, but that is unlikely to happen.  Alderson should not pay $6 million for a second-rate prospect.

The last time the Mets held a trade deadline fire sale was in 2003, when new GM Jim Duquette dismantled Steve Phillips’ team and traded Roberto Alomar, Jeromy Burnitz and Armando Benitez in separate deals for nine prospects. Then too, the Mets paid their contracts to get better players. The only two names you’ll recognize are Victor Diaz and Royce Ring. That tells you how bad the other seven were, and illustrates how tricky it is to deal for prospects.

Now certainly Beltran is a better player than those three (Alomar was done at that point). But Beltran is a two-month rental, and no team is going to give up an A+ prospect for that. Given the Mets financial issues, they are better off saving the $6 million and getting a marginal prospect back in return rather than spending the money and getting someone else’s overhyped prospect.

Alderson should be playing hardball here. He holds all of the cards. One of these teams will blink and pay the salary AND give up a good prospect. It’s not like the team has to trade Beltran, like it had to get rid of K-Rod and that vesting option. Worse comes to worse, the Mets keep Beltran and pay him to play for the Mets instead of another team. Would that really be so bad?

11 thoughts on “Mets Shouldn’t Pay Any of Carlos Beltran’s Contract

  • Your comments are right on the mark. I hate to see Beltran go but the Mets need to infuse some talent into the system. Better to trade from strength right now than to hold onto Beltran too long.

  • Sandy Alderson must weigh his options. He can save payroll or stockpile prospects — but not both. Since payroll is already fixed for 2011, the Mets lose nothing in paying Beltran’s salary.

    In my opinion, the series of trades made in 2003 are irrelevant to this subject. If your point is to give an example of firesale failures, you must remember, Jim Duquette’s motive was to clear payroll and create opportunity for existing minor league talent (ie #Reyes, #Wright).

    Trading Beltran is not a firesale move.

  • Bobby V Lives On

    Oh yeah, I’m sure the Braves are going to hand us Freddie Freeman AND pay all of Beltran’s contract. Wow, you are an idiot.

  • I think your missing the fact that he’s a rental player. There is no value in spending $6m and also having to give up a decent prospect. All the players you mentioned are not prospects, they are good, cheap MLB players with years of team control remaining. Your crazy if you think two months of Beltran is close to worth that. The Mets are doing what they have to do. They need a good prospect more than they need the money, and they won’t get both.

  • cannot get top prospects without taking
    some of his money.won’t happen

  • Mark Berman

    I never said the Mets should get Freeman, Heyward, etc. for Beltran. Of course not. I wrote, “can’t miss prospect along the lines of…”

  • Corey+from+Florida

    This comment is a classic case of an idiot fan overvaluing his team’s talent while undervaluing the talent of the trade partner. The Braves won’t trade any of those young talented players for Beltran even if the Mets were to give them money to sign him for next year as well.

    Alderson’s approach is brilliant. We have committed to paying him for this season anyway. The money is already spent. Alderson is holding a hand full of nothing. If he does not deal the player he walks at the end of the year and gets … NOTHING.

    Just keep your head stuck in the sand and stop typing.

  • “Worse comes to worse, the Mets keep Beltran and pay him to play for the Mets instead of another team. Would that really be so bad?”

    Yes. Yes it would.

    The Mets aren’t going to make the playoffs this year. They’re not going to get any draft pick compensation if Beltran leaves as a free agent at the end of the year. And quite frankly. it’s not like there’s a lot of goodwill to be lost with the fans right now. Anything Alderson can get for Beltran, anything at all, makes it worthwhile to deal him. And obviously you want the best return possible, and if you get the absolute best prospect by sending $6 million along with Beltran, then you by all means pay his salary.

    It’s all about maximizing value on the 2012 team (and beyond). And $6 million now potentially goes a long way.

  • News from Philly is they are targetting Pence now vice Beltran. Why? Because they will give up Brown for a Pence who they will own for a few years but not a two month rental. You overvalue Beltran unless Yankees decide they want him.

  • You guys do all realize 6mil or not you are not getting a top prospect. Send the 6 mil with him and you get mid level. Don’t send it and keep Beltran and then get nothing when he walks. Apparently Mets fans and bloggers would run this team as poorly as old Omar

  • The Wisdom Cow

    It all comes down to the ridiculous arbitration clause, then there is the no trade rights on top of it. Look, imagine he could still be offered arbitration. Then Alderson could get a stud prospect, “B” prospects and maybe a couple “C” prospects. But, without those two compensation picks coming back to the trader, you lose out on the presumptive value of 2 A-/B+ prospects, leaving you with a pair of “C” prospects, at best. Add that there is not true competition for his services because of Beltran’s veto rights, and the 6 mil left on the contract in these times, and Alderson really should have pulled the trigger a month ago for a decent “C” prospect and drop 8 million on another team’s payroll. The last month has cost 2 million and the reward will not be worth Alderson’s failed bluffs for a top prospect.

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