There have been a flurry of things being said, written, and tweeted over the past few days, and the trade talk seems to have entered into the frenzy stage today. Especially with respect to the Atlanta Braves as a possible front runner for New York Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran. Here are a few of the more interesting things being said:
From Joel Sherman at the NY Post, in regards to the Braves pursuit of Beltran:
Keep an eye on the farm-rich Braves. I heard the Mets were paying particular attention to Triple-A lefty Mike Minor in his start yesterday against Louisville.
From Jayson Stark at ESPN:
Here's a fascinating theory on the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes from two NL executives: They believe that all the current talk that the Phillies and Red Sox are either the "favorites" or the "most aggressive" teams in the Beltran bidding is being circulated by the Mets to increase pressure on other teams in the bidding. Their theory: The Giants wind up swooping in and getting this done, for a package fronted by dynamic center-field prospect Gary Brown.
Here is a good estimation of when we might see a deal, from Ken Rosenthal:
Most of the Beltran talks thus far qualify as preliminary, sources say. The Mets expect to know more about each team’s intent by Monday, and after that they will start weeding out the suitors.
We should see more rumors like this during the weekend as, presumably, the talks get closer to completion. That being said, I can sense the reluctance of the Braves front office to trade away good players for two or three months worth of a veteran with an injury history, and no possibility of draft pick compensation. That's not something they typically do -- just give away prospects. If they're trading away major prospects, then they want the player they're acquiring to be under their control for more than a few months.
After this year center field will still be an area of need for the team, and they would have fewer prospects to go out and get another center fielder (I'm assuming that the front office is aware Jordan Schafer is probably not a long term solution).
Beltran could make a difference down the stretch and in the playoffs, but he just doesn't seem like the kind of player the Braves would go after -- in terms of amount they would have to give up and length of time they would have him. Still, I'd be excited if we got him. And if it's straight up for Minor, I'm fine with that (mainly because I'm not that big on Minor).