Since the Pittsburgh Pirates have been being tossed around as potential buyers at this years trade deadline, Carlos Beltran has been in the mix of players Pirates fans would like to see their resurgent club go after. As I’ve thought about the acquisition and weighted the pros and cons I came to the conclusion that going after Beltran, though a change of pace from the Pirates normal deadline routine, would not be in the best interest of the Pirates organization.
Don’t get me wrong, if the Pirates announce the second after I submitted this article that they traded for Beltran, I would be back at the keyboard breaking down the deal and showing my approval. Beltran would bring a huge boost to the stifling Pirates offense.
Upon putting on a Pirates jersey, Beltran will lead the Pirates in six (6) offensive categories, SLG (.524), OPS (.911), OBP (.381), HR (15), BB (53) and AVG (.290) while being tied with Andrew McCutchen in hits with 98. Beltran has only struck out 59 times this season, the fourth most amongst Pirates that qualify for the Batting Title. The Manati, Puerto Rico native is batting .290 this season with 15 home runs and 61 RBI in 93 games for theNew YorkMets this season.
I know what your thinking, “Aren’t you telling us why we should go after Carlos Beltran?” So far you would be correct in questioning my writing motivation to this point, but now I will defend my statement.
The 34-year-old right fielder is still owed six million of the $19.325 million he is to receive this season under his current contract. Yes, the Mets have said that they would pick up the remaining $6 million in efforts to part with Beltran. The problem with this lies in the fact that if the Mets are going to eat that type of cash, then they want a top-tier prospect in return, which makes sense.
What doesn’t make sense to me is sending a top-tier prospect like that of a Starling Marte, Brad Lincoln, Alex Presley or even Bryan Morris to the Mets, a potential National League championship contender, for a two-month rental.
There wouldn’t be a chance for the Pirates to re-sign Beltran for the simple fact that they just can’t afford him. For reference, Paul Maholm is the highest paid 2011 Pirate at $6.25 million. The highest paid 2011 Pirates position player is injured catcher Ryan Doumit at $5.2 million.
There are two other factors that would make it tough to get Beltran from the Mets as well. The Phillies, Braves and Giants are all in the running and are considered the front runners for Beltran’s new employer. The Phillies look to be the best candidate for Beltran’s services.
The biggest factor is of course Beltran and his “no-trade” clause. He would have to waive this clause and agree to come to Pittsburgh over Philadelphia, Atlanta and San Francisco. I just don’t see him doing that because I feel he will want to re-sign with the team he gets traded to and the Phillies have the ability to resign him.
Honestly, I do not feel that Carlos Beltran would be a great fit financially with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the direction that this organization is heading.
Beltran has a career batting average of .282 and has accumulated 295 home runs and 1123 RBI since he debuted in 1999. Beltran is also only 141 hits shy of 2,000 for his career.