Beltran To Switch Coasts

It was just a matter of time before the New York Mets dealt centerfielder Carlos Beltran. The only questions to be answered were “what is Beltran’s destination?” and “who will the Mets get in return?”.

It appears the answers to those questions are just a formality away from being answered.  Beltran must waive his no-trade clause to accept a deal to the San Francisco Giants, the team he’s wanted to go to all along.In return the Mets will get higly touted prospect Zack Wheeler, who was ranked prior to the season by Baseball America as the #55 prospect in baseball.

Beltran is in the final year of an seven year, $119MM contract and is owed the remainder of $18.5MM for this season. The 34-yr old had his ups and down in New York and fell in and out of favor with the fans. Many have, unfairly, pointed to his NLCS ending strikeout at the hands of Adam Wainwright as his defining moment in New York. He hit .280/.369/.500 in his Mets’ career with 149 home runs and 559 RBI. He didn’t produce much offensively in his first year at Shea Stadium, but averaged nearly 34 home runs and 113 RBI over the next three seasons. Injuries took their toll the last two years, and limited the outfielder to 81 and 64 games in 2009 and 2010.  Beltran bounced back this season with 15 HR, 60 RBI, and a league leading 30 doubles. He also made his first All-Star appearance in two years.

Wheeler was the Giants number one pick, 6th overall, in the 2009 amateur draft. In 146.2 minor league innings, Wheeler has averaged 10.3 strikeouts and 5.2 walks per nine innings, and posted a 3.99 ERA. He’s made 37 appearances, 29 of them as a starter. Wheeler has a low to mid-90′s fastball, a sharp curveball and a changeup that’s about 10 mph less than his fastball.