|Beltran Not an Option for Sox (or Anyone Else)||10.26.09 at 1:29 pm ET|
A recent story in the Boston Herald suggested that Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran could be an intriguing contingency plan for the Red Sox this offseason should Boston fail to re-sign left fielder Jason Bay. If Bay were to depart, the report suggested, the Sox could entertain the idea of trading for Beltran — one of the best defensive players in the game, and a middle-of-the-order hitter to boot — and moving Jacoby Ellsbury to left field.
However, it appears that there is virtually no chance that such a deal could happen. While Beltran — who has two years, each at $18.5 million (though with $5.5 million of each season’s salary due in deferred, interest-gathering payments), left on his seven-year, $119 million deal — would undoubtedly be both affordable and attractive to the Sox or just about any other team seeking an outfielder, there is virtually no chance that he will be dealt.
A major league source said that the Mets would not even entertain the idea of trading Beltran. The Mets are instead giving every indication that they will be active in adding pieces this offseason (New York is expected to get involved in the market for Bay and/or Matt Holliday). Given that likelihood, it would not make sense for the team to deal one of its best players.
Beltran is coming off a season in which he missed 2½ months with a bone bruise on his right knee. When healthy, he performed at an elite level, hitting .325 with a .360 OBP, .496 slugging mark, 10 homers and 11 steals (in 12 attempts) while playing in 81 games.
While it would not appear that there is a scenario in which Beltran would be dealt to Boston this winter, the Sox had pursued him aggressively in the past. Most notably, when he was on the trade block as a member of the Royals during the 2004 season, the Sox had a standing offer to deal Kevin Youkilis and Kelly Shoppach for the center fielder.
Instead, Kansas City elected to deal Beltran as part of a three-way deal with the Athletics and Astros. The Royals ended up receiving catcher John Buck and corner infielder/outfielder Mark Teahen in the deal.
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