Where will you go, Carlos Beltran?
We did this a couple months ago with Jose Reyes, when it was widely assumed that the Mets would trade Reyes prior to the non-waiver deadline. We were wrong. At any rate, here are the five most likely destinations for outfielder Carlos Beltran, who is a near-lock to be traded at some point this week:
Their need is great, with perhaps the weakest offensive outfield of any legitimate contender. And they have some impact talent to spare. The only question is whether or not the Giants will be willing to part with an elite prospect (Brandon Belt? Zach Wheeler?) in order to land the deadline’s biggest fish.
Atlanta already has a dynamic right fielder in Jason Heyward, but the rest of their outfield remains relatively weak. A return to center field for Beltran may be possible, or perhaps a defensive shift for Heyward. Either way, the Braves have the desire — along with enough pitching talent in their Minors — to make a deal work if they desire.
It seems like a long shot, given the rivalry between these two teams, but the fact remains that outfield production is a weak spot for this club. And the risk goes both ways — yes, the Mets could potentially help the Phillies win a title, but the Phillies could give the Mets their next superstar of the future in the process.
Word is the Mets are enamored with two of Texas’ young arms, Martin Perez and Joe Wieland. And the Rangers are certainly high on Beltran, who could give them some additional wallop in the middle of their order. Though Beltran has expressed his desire to remain in the National League, it’s hard to envision him vetoing a deal to a reigning pennant winner.
Don’t ever count out the Red Sox, who have grown weary of regular right fielder J.D. Drew. The Mets would probably jump at an opportunity to acquire outfield prospect Josh Reddick, who has been receiving ample playing time in place of Drew. But with the league’s best offense, do the Red Sox have enough motivation to trade away anything of value for a two-month rental? It doesn’t seem likely.
—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.