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  For Whom The Beltran Tolls

Photo by Keith Allison

The July 31st trade deadline looms! We’re now into the peak period when general managers try their luck, play the hand they’ve been dealt and maintain their best poker face in trying to either better their ballclub for the heat of the pennant race or cut their losses and live to play another day. In a few days, we’ll find out who’s selling and who’s buying. The Mets, predictably, will most likely be selling and streamlining the big club for next season while trying to re-stock down on the farm.

The Mets have already lightened the load by sending closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers for 2 of the proverbial players to be named later. As long as these unnamed players are still breathing when they get here, the Mets made a good deal. Fans complained that letting go of K-Rod well before the deadline leaves the team without a closer, shows management has given up, etc. The front office struck while the iron was hot after finding a pigeon in Milwaukee and then closed the deal as soon as they could. The Mets were very fortunate that Rodriguez has behaved himself since his major snap of last season. That made the process of shipping him off that much smoother.

Aside from the obvious tolling of Carlos Beltran and the impending free-agency of Jose Reyes, I don’t see the Mets as having too many more desirable chips to deal away. Unless someone wants one of the young former Buffalo Bisons or if Ronny Paulino has convinced another club that he’s actually a good hitter, pickings are slim. Sandy Alderson should start off his phone conversations with a joke, “Trade? Sure! How about Bay and Pelfrey?! LOL!” If by some sheer miracle the other party bites, reel them in like they’re Captain Kidd’s treasure!

I think Alderson will make a strong play to re-sign Reyes, and unless Jose’s a great actor, he looks like he sincerely wants to be here. You just have to cross your fingers that the hamstrings hold up and if they do, you’ve got one of the best and most exciting players in the game locked up. And unless Sandy’s a great actor, I think he’s finally realized how popular Reyes is with the fan base and that he’d have a mutiny and mass exodus on his hands if he let Jose slip away without an excruciatingly major struggle.

Beltran is gone. It’s just a matter of the details – where and most importantly, for whom! Some say his career as a Met would have been much different if he didn’t look at Strike 3 in the 2006 NLCS. If he popped to short, would that have made a difference? Not really. The only way things would have been different? If he won the game and if that Mets club went on to take the Series that year. Even so, Carlos was not vilified after the Mets were so abruptly eliminated in ’06. He’s been a good soldier here, aside from that minor Walter Reed visit bump-in-the-road. He was not a free-agent bust. He’s had some great games as a Met, capped off by his game-tying HR the other night up into the Pepsi Porch that landed next to Gary, Keith & Ron who were doing the broadcast from up there. He’s remained healthy and put together a great season, earning an All-Star nod. He deserves to go to one of the teams on his trade list and help them win, just as he did with the Mets on many occasions. Gracias, Carlos. Adios y buena suerte.

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