There are no untouchables on losing teams like the Mets, save for the ones that circumstances create. Carlos Beltran may be one such untouchable.
While new general manager Sandy Alderson dangles shortstop Jose Reyes in front of his Winter Meetings brethren this week in Orlando, Fla., Beltran, the center fielder with the arthritic knee, $18.5 million price tag for 2011 and no-trade clause seems destined to stay put.
At least for now. The Post reported that the Red Sox, in the wake of the deal that brought power hitter Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego for prospects, might be interested in Beltran. The Mets would have to eat some salary to get the deal done, but at least his knee hasn’t scared off Boston.
The Boston Globe said the Sox would move him to an unfamiliar left field. But his .523 slugging percentage against left-handers would benefit the offense. Assuming Beltran waives the no-trade clause, starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka could be enough to work the deal, but that would mean the Red Sox would have to find another arm.
The Daily News reported that a trade to Oakland and Alderson’s old friend Billy Beane might not be an outrageous notion, either. But with Beltran a free agent next season, Beane might not want to part with anything significant.
The most likely scenario, then, is Beltran staying put and Alderson hoping he can put up big numbers in his contract year to turn the Mets into surprise NL East contenders. New manager Terry Collins told the Daily News that he’ll give Beltran every chance to prove his knee is right, and that he can play a solid and permanent center field to avoid the shifting to right with Angel Pagan that hurt both his performance and morale.