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Beltran to Red Sox gaining traction?

Carlos Beltran is is entering the final season

Carlos Beltran is is entering the final season of his seven-year, $119-million contract. Credit: Getty Images

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. -- Now it looks like the Mets might find a taker for Carlos Beltran after all. The idea of trading Beltran to the Red Sox began as a slight ripple Tuesday morning here at the Dolphin Resort. But by later that night, and into early Wednesday, it apparently had gained significant momentum, with the Boston Globe reporting that the Mets and Red Sox again discussed a potential trade of the $119-million centerfielder.

One Mets official characterized a potential trade as a longshot in the early hours Wednesday morning. But comments made by general manager Sandy Alderson earlier in the afternoon suggested that he would consider eating part of Beltran’s $18.5-million salary for next season if a deal made sense. 

The Mets would be expected to assume a large part of that – if similar money couldn’t be swapped – but Alderson did suggest in general terms that he isn’t averse to doing so if necessary.

“I think we’re realists,” Alderson said. “If we felt given all of the components of the transaction that it was in our interest, yeah. Eaten money before and prepared to eat it again.”

There is another way. The Red Sox could try to convince Daisuke Matsuzaka to waive his own no-trade clause, and with Dice-K owed $20 million over the next two seasons, the money would be nearly a wash. Beltran, who also has a no-trade clause, already has said he would approve a deal under the right circumstances. Given his contentious history with the Mets during the past year, there’s little doubt Beltran would jump at the chance to play for the Red Sox, even if it meant part-time DH duties and perhaps switching to a corner outfield spot for the final season of his seven-year, $119-million contract.

Alderson did not come to these meetings expecting to move Beltran. But with the interest that has sprung up, including very topical conversations with the Red Sox, it’s not completely off the radar.

Speaking generally, Alderson said, “We’re always open to wild and crazy ideas. Maybe one or two of those have come up. But they usually remain wild and crazy ideas – nothing more.”

In addition to his prohibitive salary, there is another major obstacle to any deal getting done, and that’s Beltran’s arthritic knees, which can only be managed at this point – not fixed. Beltran said at this time last year he was given the option for microfracture surgery, but turned it down in favor of a less intrusive arthroscopic procedure. He may face that decision again in the not-so-distant future, and that would knock him out for at least nine months.

 

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