Mets deal Beltran to Giants

New York Mets batter Carlos Beltran follows through as he hits a double in front of St. Louis...

New York Mets batter Carlos Beltran follows through as he hits a double in front of St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina in the first inning of their MLB National League baseball game at CitiField in New York July 19, 2011. (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 1:06 AM ET

CINCINNATI, OHIO - The New York Mets made it official on Thursday and traded outfielder Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for pitching prospect Zack Wheeler.

The Mets will also send cash considerations to the Giants to help cover some of Beltran's expensive contract. Reports have indicated that the Mets will pay as much as $4 million of the $6.5 million the slugger is owed for the rest of the year.

Beltran, in the final season of a seven-year, $119 million contract he signed in January 2005, is having a bounce-back year after two injury-riddled campaigns. He has already played more games this year, with 98, than he did in either of the past two seasons.

The 34-year-old made the switch from center to right field this season and is batting .289 with 15 homers and 66 runs batted in. He also leads the National League with 30 doubles.

"We thank Carlos for all he has done for this organization -- both on and off the field -- and wish him well," said Mets general manager Sandy Alderson in a statement. "It has been a pleasure for me personally to know and be able to work with Carlos. He has been the consummate professional."

Beltran signed his mega-deal 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.

Wheeler was the selected by the Giants with the sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft. The 21-year-old right-hander 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.

"We're excited to add a player of Zack's caliber to our organization," noted Alderson. "Zack is one of the top pitching prospects in the game and we are fortunate to have him in our system."

It's the second big deal the Mets have made this month, as they traded relief ace Francisco Rodriguez to Milwaukee at the All-Star break.


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