As we rapidly approach 2011’s edition of the dreaded “Trading Deadline” (cue dramatic organ music: DUN-DUN-DUUUUUUUNNNNNH…!), the Mets are in a situation they haven’t been in since at least 2004: being courted.

It only makes sense that Carlos Beltran will be traded in-season. The logical, clear-cut, business and baseball reasons have been enumerated since last year’s winter meetings: expiring contract and the impending free agency that goes along with it, an idiotic clause in the contract wherein Beltran cannot be offered arbitration and so the team that hold that contract cannot receive any compensatory draft pick if/when he signs elsewhere and a limited budget – he said politely – on the Mets’ side, so that signing him to an extension hasn’t even entered into the discussion. So it has been known far and wide in baseball and media circles that Mr. Carlos Beltran is on the trading block and most available.

With common knowledge being what it is, the Mets are now the handsome high-school quarterback a month before the Sadie Hawkins dance. Teams seem to be lining up in front of Sandy Alderson’s office, shouting “Pick ME! Pick ME!” Alderson now gets to play Monty Hall in this high-stakes game of “Let’s Make A Deal.” He’s been sifting through the offers with a fine-tooth comb, weighing the pros and cons of each. The MSM is beside itself with speculation as to who the “leading” candidate is to land Beltran: the Phillies, the Giants, the Rangers, the Braves, the Yankees, the Nippon Ham Fighters – ha! Just seeing if you were paying attention – have all been rumored to be at the head of the line in bidding for Beltran’s services. Then we hear that the Phillies have dropped out, or that they’re back in. We’ve also heard that Alderson’s price is too high, or that it isn’t high enough. Or that the Mets are getting Victor Zambrano and Ollie Perez back…

Wherever Alderson’s gaze settles, we fans will have to be satisfied with the ol’ standby “Hope-for-the-future” scenario, while losing a splendid ballplayer, who gave most of us thrill after thrill for the past six-and-a-half season. It’s unfortunate that his time in New York will always be stained by a killer Adam Wainwright curveball, but Carlos Beltran was one of the top-five position players in the history of the franchise. Many of us up in the grandstand may have lost sight of that amid the injuries and the bleating about the impending trade, but as the song says, “We gonna miss ‘im when he’s gone…”

3 comments on “Trade Deadline Finds the Mets In An Unfamiliar Position

  • Lenny Chiat

    I think that this analysis just about nails it. Carlos Beltran never got the appreciation from the fans that he deserved. He will be missed more than many fans realize.

  • john witner

    Am I the only true Mets fan with the audicity to believe that this team, as it is, has a crack at the post season? Mgmt should be focused on retaining Carlos and closing the gap that exists between them and Atlanta! They need him, we got him, two months and deficit of 7.5 games. Let’s go Mets!

    • Brian Joura

      No, you’re not the only one. They essentially just upgraded from Ruben Tejada to David Wright which certainly helps in the effort to contend. The issue is they don’t really have any trade chits to go out and improve the pitching very much.

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