First of all, I goofed on Twitter. The key piece the Mets will receive is not outfielder Gary Brown, but rather pitcher Zach Wheeler. It'll be a straight-up, 1-for-1 deal, with the Mets sending $4 million of the roughly $6 million Beltran is owed (hat tip to Joel Sherman).
Kudos to the Mets. Wheeler is a high-ceiling prospect (ranked 55th by Baseball America prior to the season), and the Mets badly need young pitchers. I reached out to a scout from an opposing club, and here's what he said about Wheeler:
"Lanky build. Good delivery. Loose arm. High-velocity fastball up to 97. Legitimate swing and miss curve. OK touch on changeup. Strong pitchability quotient."
It's a good risk for the Giants, who are trying to win a second straight World Series and who have so much organizational pitching depth and know, thanks to pitching guru Dick Tidrow, that they have a good chance of drafting and developing more.
He's certainly the kind of guy on which you take this kind of chance. As much as one segment of Mets fans wanted the team to make a playoff run, the odds were strongly against that proving successful (2.1 percent, according to Baseball Prospectus).
As for Beltran's time with the Mets...it certainly wasn't boring, was it? It's a shame that neither a strong contingent of Mets fans nor Mets ownership seemed to appreciate what they had in Beltran, who should have a real chance to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. If Beltran does get into Cooperstown, that "What logo should we put on your plaque?" conversation is going to be quite awkward.
Let's give his run with the Mets a B+. We can't ignore his terrible 2005 nor the fact that he missed over a year of time when you combine 2009 and 2010. But his 2006 through 2008, his half of 2009 and his 2011 were so sublime that they largely neutralize the negatives.
--Ubaldo Jimenez sure is looking available, and that concerns the Yankees as much as it excites them. Like most teams in baseball, the Yankees are wondering, essentially, "What are we missing here? Why would Colorado be so anxious to dump a guy with such a good contract?"
The Rockies seem to be more interested in sending Jimenez to Cincinnati, which has a wealth of prospects. The Yankees and Rockies are nowhere close in their discussions.
And yes, to confirm another report out there, the Cubs have been trying to give Carlos Zambrano to the Yankees for a while now, although not recently. The Yankees aren't even remotely interested.
--Wow, how about those White Sox-Blue Jays and Blue Jays-Cardinals trades, which left Toronto with Colby Rasmus, St. Louis with Edwin Jackson and the White Sox with Jason Frasor, among many other pieces?
The Blue Jays are the big winners, getting Rasmus, who joins the prestigious "I just couldn't stand playing for Tony La Russa anymore" club. The Cardinals help themselves in the short term with Jackson and the other players, but that's quite a high price to pay.
As for the White Sox, it looks like a mediocre deal, unless Zach Stewart - who turns 25 in September - turns into something more than what he appears to be.
--Finally, an actual on-the-field issue: Joe Torre admitted that umpire Jerry Meals messed up last night, in the marathon Pirates-Braves game.
Torre says, in a statement, that "this has always been a part of our game." Gosh, at one time, wasn't just one postseason round "part of our game"? Or no TV? Or far more pernicious things?
More instant replay, please. Perhaps what it's going to take is enough terrible calls to get enough wronged teams to switch. Because it's just silly to shrug over such incompetence when there's such a simple solution.
--Have a great night.