The trade deadline is just 12 days away, and the Mets possess the best available bat in Carlos Beltran. The Mets are willing to assume a chunk of his $18.5MM salary to improve the return. Beltran will have to approve the trade, and the Phillies, Giants, Tigers, and Braves might be the most likely suitors. The latest:
- The Pirates, who won again tonight, have called on Beltran, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- The Pirates rate Beltran as the top available bat, but aren't going after him full-speed, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (on Twitter).
- The Phillies and Red Sox are among the most aggressive suitors for Beltran, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Other clubs remain "strongly in the mix" for Beltran, Rosenthal reports. Both the Phillies and Red Sox are up against the luxury tax and want the Mets to pick up substantial salary in any deal. The Mets may trade the switch-hitter several days before the deadline and may have to include less money than they originally expected to send. Though Beltran can block any trade, the Mets don't expect that to become a problem.
- The Giants, who acquired Jeff Keppinger earlier today, remain interested in Beltran, according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- The Yankees aren't in the market for Beltran, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). They won't be interested in him unless somone on their roster gets injured, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger.
- Rival executives tell ESPN's Buster Olney that Beltran's trade value would be much higher if not for a contractual clause that prevents his team from offering arbitration after the season, therefore eliminating draft pick compensation. My take: Beltran is not a lock for Type A status, and most teams would have been reluctant to offer arbitration to him given his health history and $18.5MM salary. The impact of Beltran's "no arbitration offer" clause on his trade value seems overstated.
- The Yankees discussed Beltran with the Mets, reports Olney, but he cannot see a deal happening unless it's a pure salary dump. Bob Klapisch goes a step further, saying the Yankees briefly entertained the idea but decided it's not a fit.