I touched on this topic last night on Twitter (@lenno212) for a little bit after discussing the whole centerfield debate with manager Jerry Manuel and Carlos Beltran earlier in the afternoon.

Despite Torii Hunter's decision to move rightfield, Beltran has no desire to do so in the near future, and the Mets won't even broach the topic about switching to a corner outfield spot before next season - if at all. Manuel did catch himself when talking about spring training next year, explaining that when he referred to "we" he actually meant "whoever" will be calling the shots from the manager's office.

As for trading Beltran, let's get one thing straight. I'm not saying he's a bad player and wouldn't help the Mets, especially in the walk year of his contract. This is more about two sides moving in different directions, and if a split can be worked out to help both Beltran and the Mets in 2011, it certainly makes sense.

The Mets can win without Beltran. In fact, they did it far more often this season with Angel Pagan in centerfield and Beltran on the DL. I also know that Beltran has a full no-trade clause, but given his rift with ownership over the knee surgery - and no, he hasn't forgotten about it -- he has no great affection for the Mets organization.

Beltran is a professional, and he's going about his business in the second half in that manner. He's worked very hard to return, and despite his struggles, he's been productive to some degree. But if Beltran can rebound to put up some numbers by the end of the season, and show that the knee can hold up to a daily workload, there will be interest in him this winter.

Sure, he's due $18.5 million for 2011, and that's a huge sum of money for a player that would still be an injury risk. I'm not even saying the Mets will be able to deal him - it's just worth exploring and I really believe that Beltran would be open to a move. If the Mets could save some money with the trade - money they could use to help the roster elsewhere -- it's probably the smart way to go in retooling the club for next season.

 

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