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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Carlos Beltran Coming to Town

It was a deal that's been in the making for the better part of the month, and it appears to have finally come to fruition Wednesday. The Giants will send top pitching prospect Zach Wheeler to New York for outfielder Carlos Beltran, the top bat on the trade market, in a deal expected to be announced Thursday.

I've been discussing Beltran here a lot in recent weeks, so you know I'm pretty pro-Carlos Beltran, I just really hoped the Giants could get the deal done with Peguero or Surkamp and could have hung onto Wheeler. I've seen Wheeler pitch, and I think he can be a #2 of 3 starter, but he hasn't dominated the minors like Cain, Lincecum and Bumgarner did and he's not really standing out in A-ball this season, so who knows when he'll be ML ready. Also, the Mets had other offers for Beltran who was the prize bat of this market by far, and the Giants made a bold move in order to ensure their spot in the playoffs and boost their chances for a repeat. Beltran should come right in and take over the everyday job in right where he's most comfortable, forcing Cody Ross Nate Schierholtz and Brandon Belt scurrying for AB's in LF. It's also possible Beltran could see some time in center field too if Andres Torres can't get his batting average up. Carlos Beltran easily becomes the Giants best outfielder since the Barry Bonds era and is quite possibly the biggest trade deadline acquistion in decades for the San Fran. Wherever he's playing, he'll be entrenched into the middle of the batting order with Pablo Sandoval and Nate Schierholtz, giving the Giants two strong switch hitters in that middle which bodes very well for late inning relief match-ups. My guess is that Beltran will hit 3rd in front of Sandoval, Huff and Schierholtz. It should also be interesting to see what happens to Brandon Belt's PT, and who exactly will be out of a roster spot with the arrival of #15?

Though I wasn't hoping for the departure of a top prospect, I do approve of this move. The Giants don't need to eat all of Beltran's remaining salary which adds more to the pot for a potential contract extension after the season. Speaking of which, I do think Sabean and Co. will be very serious about keeping Beltran in San Francisco beyond this year. Even though the Giants dealt from strength, Wheeler was their prized arm in their minor league system and I don't think Sabean dealt him away without any plan of trying to keep Beltran for a few more years if all goes well. The Giants do have a few bright young outfielders in the minor leagues, but nobody too close or with the extra-base power of Beltran. Plus, a potential Giants lineup for 2012 that includes Beltran, Posey, Sandoval, Belt, Sanchez and Huff (hopefully he rebounds) is mighty compelling. I just hope that this deal doesn't mean less playing time for Schierholtz. Nate's having a much better season than Cody Ross, and until Ross gets into one of his hot streaks, he should be relegated to left-handed pitching and righties he's crushed in the past. Then again, with Torres' struggles, it wouldn't surprise me to see Beltran in center flanked by Schierholtz in Ross a lot of nights as well. Again, no matter how you look at it, the Giants gave up a quality young arm to get a very good outfielder who'll help them win now and drastically help out their faltering offense. I give the deal a double thumbs up, now if Sabes could get him to ink a reasonable 3-year extension, that would be icing on the cake!

Back on the field, the Giants just finished off a win over the Phillies to even up the series at 1 apiece for Thursday's rubber match. Beltran apparently left Cinci Wednesday and is expected to be in the lineup for the finale in Philly. The Giants will either trot out Tim Lincecum if he can finally shake the flu, or it will be Vogelsong. Either way, the Giants will be in good shape going up against Kyle Kendrick who's very hittable if the Giants can be patient. It should also be noted that he Giants may not be done on the trade front either. I still think they would like to upgrade catcher if they can.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great Trade! GO GIANTS!!!

  • At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Charles Junez said…

    I just wish Buster was healthy and this team would be unstoppable. I still can't stand Whiteside behind the plate! What catchers are out there? Anyway they can get a guy like Hernadez from the Reds?

  • At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    I love the trade. I agree the Giants could use a catcher or a good hitting shortstop, but I think they'll be fine if they stand pat now. Beltran is going to make everyone in that lineup a better hitter, and that impact should really help this offense. Really happy to see Sabean sack up and make the deal. I know it's early and who knows how it will go, but Beltran seems sincerely happy to be a Giant so if they want him beyond this year, they should have the money to do so.

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