Mets, Giants agree to Beltran deal
By Sports Network
|Mets batter Carlos Beltran hits a single during the MLB All-Star Game in Phoenix, Ariz., July 12, 2011. (DENIS POROY/Reuters)
CINCINNATI - The first major trade is apparently near completion, and it's the reigning World Series champions reaping the benefits.
According to a report on MLB.com Wednesday, the San Francisco Giants have agreed to send right-handed pitching prospect Zack Wheeler to the New York Mets in exchange for Carlos Beltran and cash to cover some of the star outfielder's expensive contract. Reports show the Mets will pay as much as $4 million of the $6.5 million Beltran is owed the rest of the year.
Beltran, who did not play against the Reds on Wednesday, has a full no-trade clause and could block the move.
The six-time All-Star is nonetheless expected to join a Giants club that entered Wednesday second to last in the National League in runs, but is still atop of the West Division standings. San Francisco plays in Philadelphia on Thursday against the Phillies, who were also in the sweepstakes.
While the deal has not officially been announced, Mets third baseman David Wright seemed resigned to the fact that Beltran is all but headed to the Giants.
"We've obviously traded one of our best players, but there are still games to be played," Wright said after Wednesday's 8-2 win.
Beltran, 34, is batting .289 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI this year, already playing more games (98) than his previous two injury-riddled seasons.
The soon-to-be free agent signed a seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets after a monster 2004 postseason that saw him hit eight home runs and bat .435 in 12 games with the Astros. He was a trade deadline acquisition that year as well after spending the first six-plus years of his career in Kansas City.
Beltran's best season in New York came in 2006 when he finished with career- highs in home runs (41), RBI (116) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.982).
He was rumored to be targeted by a number of clubs with the trade deadline set to expire on Sunday, though he stated his desire to play in the outfield rather than serve as a designated hitter for an American League contender.
Wheeler, 21, was the Giants' first round selection (sixth overall) in the 2009 draft. He is 7-5, with a 3.99 earned run average for Single-A San Jose this year, striking out 98 batters and walking 47 in 88 innings.
This would be the second notable trade for the Mets this season. On the night of the All-Star Game, they dealt closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers.