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Carlos Beltran open to re-signing with Giants, but only if they add more offense

Sep 16, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

Carlos Beltran told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that he “would consider” re-signing with the Giants this offseason “because the pitching is unbelievable” and he’s enjoyed his time in San Francisco, but added that he’d want assurances the team would work to improve the offense around him.

San Francisco ranks dead last among NL teams with 514 runs, which is 41 runs fewer than the next-to-last Padres and 184 runs fewer than the league-leading Reds.

Beltran was acquired at midseason specifically to address the lineup’s lack of punch and has certainly done his part by hitting .320 with a .905 OPS, but he’s also missed 14 of 45 games since the trade with injuries.

It may be a moot point, of course, as Baggarly notes that the Giants’ payroll situation makes re-signing Beltran “a remote possibility” in large part because they’re still on the hook for big salaries to Aaron Rowand and Barry Zito. All of which is why the decision to trade top prospect Zack Wheeler for two months of the impending free agent was such a risky move for the Giants.

  1. CJ - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Does Buster Posey count?

    • goawaydog - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:02 PM

      Definatley counts!

  2. bravesman1983 - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    While giving that interview, Beltran tweaked his knee and is now out for the remainder of the season.

  3. macjacmccoy - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    It was a risky move? Who would have guessed. All I heard around the trade deadline from HBT was how good a pick up it was. And how much better it was to get 2 months of Beltran for a future ace then 2 years and 2 months of Pence for a future top of the rotation pitcher a quality 1st baseman who they had no room in the organization and 2 players who will probably never have an impact in the majors.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:27 AM

      +1

    • macjacmccoy - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      I mean do the math. Ok to acquire beltran for 2 months it costs you a blue chip prospect. The Phillies got Pence for 2 seasons and 2 months that equals about 20 months. If you compare that to what the Giants gave up, 1 blue chip per 2 months, the Phillies should have given up 10 blue chip prospects to get Pence. In reality they gave up 2 blue chip prospects and 2 minimal prospects.

      Even if you think Beltran is a better player then Pence, which is nuts seeing his injury history and age, he is no where near 8 top of the line prospects better.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        So what you are trying to say is that HBT may have gone a little overboard when they headlined the Hunter Pence trade by referring to him as “overvalued”? Or when they gushed over how great the Beltran trade was without once talking about how overvalued he may have been, considering his injury history? Agree and Agree.

      • Mark - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:23 PM

        Pretty sure what was said is that Beltran was the better player, not that what the Giants gave up was a good idea. It’s not like the Phillies gave up an insignificant amount for Pence, but the Giants were pretty stupid to give up Wheeler for a few months of Beltran.

        That being said, here’s why most people logically expected Beltran to do better:

        Beltran pre Giants – 289-391-513 (904 OPS)
        Pence pre Phillies – 308-356-471 (828 OPS)

        Not really that complicated to see why people expected Beltran to out produce Pence. Not only had Beltran been the better hitter over his career, but this season Beltran was also out hitting Pence.

        Beltran continued to post an identical 905 OPS during his time as a Giant, while Pence exploded to a 949 OPS. Raise your hand if you saw that one coming.

        So while you can mock people all you want, let’s get a few things straight:

        A) Nobody said the Giants were smart to give up Wheeler for a few months of Beltran
        B) It was pretty crazy to think that Pence would outproduce Beltran. Even the most optimistic Phillies fan didn’t see this kind of production coming.

        The Phillies did give up more than they should have for a guy coming off an 828 OPS and a caerer 826 OPS. That being said, the deal looks a lot better for the Phillies now, no doubt. But let’s not pretend that predicted this kind of production from Pence.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:31 PM

        Hand raised.

        He went from carrying a shitty lineup in Houston to batting 5th in a Phillies line-up that is one of the best in the National League. It was a “reverse Werth” scenario and I called it the day the trade was made. Generally, it was patently unfair the way the trade was treated on HBT and I will continue to call Matthew in particular out for his headline calling Pence “overvalued”.

        Also, in your comparison you didn’t mention that fact that Hunter Pence is 28, locked up for another 2 years, and his games played the last three years were 157, 159, 156. Beltran’s? 161, 81, 64. I believed then and I believe now that Pence was the better choice and was happy they didn’t get Beltran. Hindsight may be 20/20, but foresight is 20/10.

      • Mark - Sep 16, 2011 at 4:18 PM

        So you believed that Hunter Pence was going to hit better than he had at any point in his career? Really?

        Seriously, there’s nothing to suggest he would be THIS good. I mean, upper 800 OPS, sure. I’ll buy that. But this good? Not even Charlie Manuel, Amaro, or Hunter Pence would have suggested that. Sorry. Blind optimism might make you look good in the few rare cases that a guy gets hot, but 9/10 hitters don’t magically improve that much.

        The Phils lineup isn’t one of the best in the league. It’s fifth, and scored 13 runs more than the 7th place team in the NL. In other words, it’s slightly above average. They’re closer to the 7th place team than they are 4th in terms of runs scored. Historically the Phils have had a dominant lineup, but this year it’s not as scary as it’s been in the past. Utley, Rollins, Ruiz, Howard have all taken steps back from the past few years. Only Vic and Pence are scary bats for the Phils this year.

        It’s funny, because I remember everybody criticizing the Ibanez contract. He had a good year, and lots of Phils fan came out and said SEE, TOLD YOU IT WAS GOOD. And then they remembered there were 2 more years to the deal, and well, it didn’t turn out that well.

        Why do I bring that up? Because while Pence has been excellent this season, it’ll be very interesting to see if he maintains this level of production, or goes back to being the good (830~ OPS OF) but not particularly elite OF. In which case, yeah, there’s a chance that Philly will have overpaid. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, given that they’re competing for the playoffs and needed a RH bat. But we’re not going to be able to properly evaluate this deal until we see how the prospects turn out. Pence has done very well so far, and nobody can take that away from him.

        I’m well aware Pence has played in more games and has a longer contract/club control. I didn’t need to point it out, because I wasn’t comparing the packages that SF & the Phils gave up. Obviously Pence would cost more, despite being an inferior player to Beltran for those reasons.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    I love these players who are going to ask a team to back up the brinks truck for them…but only if they are willing to back up the brinks truck for a bunch of other players, even if they can’t afford to do so…

    Look, Beltran and others like you…here’s your choices…

    1) Take as much money as you can get from a team like the Phillies, Yankees, Angels, or Red Sox and be likely to be on a winner.

    2) Take as much money as you can get from a team like the Mutts, Dodgers or Cubs and be likely to be on a loser.

    3) Take as much money as you can from any other team and hamper their payroll to the point where they are not likely to contend specifically because of YOU

    4) Take less money to go on a team like the Rays, Giants, Cardinals, Rangers, Brewers, Braves so that they have the flexibility to put those offensive players you want around you.

    • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:49 AM

      Well Chris, for someone who wasn’t going to have any time to correspond during the days, at any rate, I gotta hand it to you for blazing new semiotic trails in expanding the concept of making yourself scarce. I suspect that a doubleheader sweep did some good things for your facility in blowing off your day job.

      Which is OK, by the way – I have to confess to calling in sick once or twice during the fall of 2003….

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 16, 2011 at 12:04 PM

        Nah, it’s just Friday and there’s not many people in the office today.

  5. Jonny 5 - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    He may want to think about taking what he can get at this point of his career. He’s out wayyy too much with injuries. He’s a DH and if he continues to play the OF, he’ll be injured a lot more next season too. This is why the Mets should have cut loose on him awhile ago, they could have really made out on a deal earlier in his career. He’s really good, but not built to dive around on the ground much.

  6. halladaysbiceps - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    I wouldn’t offer any big money to Mr. Injury. Why invest in a big 3 year contract for the poster child of the Crutches Association?

    • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      Well, Jerry Lewis just retired….

  7. sonoco - Sep 16, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    I predict they’ll add an outstanding young hitter at catcher and a former NL batting champion at second base. As for the outfield, I’d rather the Giants try to deal for Logan Morrison than re-sign Beltran.

    • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2011 at 12:03 PM

      I’ve been meaning to say this for weeks now but Tweeter’s dugout disaffectation and team-political shenanigans have been distracting from attention to his playing ability. Now: what’s the big deal about Logan Morrison? He had a good partial season after his callup last year which, in lieu of his erratic performance this year, is beginning to take on that dusky afterglow that often follows flashes in the pan. He hasn’t been injured in any significant way but his falloff in production from the way he played last season can’t go on escaping notice. His roughly .250 average is nearly 40 points shy of his .288 from last season. He’s hit 20 home runs, yes, but that’s mid-range power at best for an outfielder in this league and his run production 68 RBIs – has been mediocre when compared to his power numbers. This is partially explained by the fact that he’s been a pretty bad situational hitter to boot – .196 RISP and even worse with 2 outs, .156. He’s not even a midgrade left fielder and has an ugly tendency to run weird routes to fly balls and make routine catches look heroic.

      The two big upsides to Tweeter that keep getting mentioned – his “youth” and his “controlled cost” – are all well and good but before you start hearing angel horns and trumpets when you think of planting him in the outfield of your rooting interest, take a hard look at his numbers.

      • Alex K - Sep 16, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        I would plant him at 1B where he’s played the most.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 16, 2011 at 12:39 PM

        you think of planting him in the outfield of your rooting interest

        I’m sure that play of words was intentional.

      • Old Gator - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        Could’ve taken it even further but I gotta save some for the orfseason, you know? You’re fairly recent but some of the oletimers on here can attest to the appetite-killing puissance of my post-Nabokovian wordplay.

  8. SOBEIT - Sep 16, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Giants aren’t resigning him anyway, so who cares what Beltran has to say. He was a flawed rental that should not have been traded for anyway for just a small chance to just reach the playoffs. We lost a great prospect in Wheeler. We are fine in the rotation with Surkamp in the 5th spot. Enough damage has been done.

    I’m already tired of Beltran’s whining. It’s too cold. I need more batters so sign Reyes for a ton of money we don’t have because we are paying stupid knee jerk reaction signing of Zito and Rowand so let’s compound the mistake with 2 more players who only get hurt all the time and has Boras as an agent. He’s not a leader, he’s a prima dona. And RF at AT&T will eat him up over the coarse of full season. Time to move on and let him go to a team willing to shell out a ton of cash. I’d rather give that money to Lincecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Vogelsong, the bullpen like Romo and Sandoval who is due a huge raise.

  9. APBA Guy - Sep 16, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    I gather the consensus from the fans of Los Gigantes is to pass on Beltran. That seems reasonable based on what we’ve seen and his recent history. With Posey coming back next year, the Panda, and all the pitching, they do need to add more offense, which is increasingly a rare commodity in MLB. The problem is going to be payroll flexibility. Next year could very easily be a repeat of this one, or Huff and Belt could both improve, Sanchez could be healthy, and things might work out. Either way, most of the Giants options will have to be internal.

  10. goawaydog - Sep 16, 2011 at 2:57 PM

    I worry that since the guy with the bow tie is gone, no one is holding sabean back from another 5 year contract to an aging player. a healthy beltran fine, but history doesn’t show that to be the case. let the kids play, let another year of bloated contracts come off the books.

    • SOBEIT - Sep 16, 2011 at 3:24 PM

      I don’t think mgmt will increase payroll significantly if any. This was already a surprise to increase payroll by 20-25% from 2010. We have options to consider like if Belt will mature quickly with the bat, if Pill will make the roster, and if Huff will return to his 2010 form. And that is just for 1B. Plus we just ate the salaries for Rowand and Tejada. Plus now Zito is on the bubble since Surkamp looks like a young version of Zito and we still have Jonathan Sanchez to figure out.

      We may look to pick up more bats like Keppinger. Consistent with the bat, decent with the glove, but does not cost Beltran/Reyes $$$.

      If we keep DeRosa and Cody Ross and Schierholtz, the outfield is pretty much set. We need a power bat and a consistent leadoff hitter. But that could be addressed with Torres (if he figures it out and is resigned if only to a minor league contract and fixes his meds), Ross, or a minor leaguer. Basically, Beltran ripped on these two by mentioning we need a leadoff. It was true, but harsh to put into an interview and outside of the clubhouse.

      I agree that we should just concentrate on the minor leaguers…Brown will take over CF by 2013 and be the true leadoff base stealing speedster…but probably called up by Sept 2012 to give a tryout. Our best players came from the farm…so let’s focus our energy there. Sandoval, Posey, the pitching staff, etc. So no more big FA signings that block the prospects!

  11. rhandome - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Giants fans saying the Beltran trade was dumb is revisionist history. The Giants led the division by 4 games on July 28, despite losing 2 of their best hitters for the season and fielding a truly awful offense. Beltran was the best available hitter. If there was EVER a time to trade a top prospect for a rental, it was the Giants in late July 2011. Flags fly forever. The trade was the right move and I’d do it over again in a heartbeat.

    Wheeler is a top prospect, but his delivery is worrisome; it places a lot of strain on his arm as he whips it around late. I trust Sabean and co. when it comes to evaluating pitching. If they thought Wheeler was expendable, I’m inclined to believe them.

    • seeingwhatsticks - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:47 PM

      I’m going to disagree a little bit. I understand the logic behind going after Beltran based on where the Giants were without 2 of their best hitters but I think it would have been better to be more realistic about the situation. Even with Beltran they were still missing 2 of their best hitters and an elite prospect like Wheeler would have been much more valuable to the Giants future, either as a replacement for Zito in another year or two, or as a trade chip in the offseason. Losing Sanchez hurt even though he was ultimately replaced by a competent hitter so the drop off wasn’t as significant as going from Posey to a hole in the lineup. Even though they were in 1st place at the time the Giants roster, without Posey and with Huff and Torres having awful years, was seriously flawed. The idea that 1 player, particularly a guy who makes the defense weaker, would save the offense and make them World Series contenders was probably not realistic from the get go. If getting Beltran cost them nothing but money there’s really no reason not to do it but giving up Wheeler for a 2 month rental when he could have fetched more in the offseason wasn’t the best move.

      Having said that it’s reasonable to assume that maybe the Giants know something about Wheeler, or have concernes about that delivery, given how good they have been with determining which young pitchers to keep over the last 5 years or so. I’m willing to give Sabean and Tidrow the benefit of the doubt there but I still think they could have gotten more for Wheeler in the offseason.

  12. rhandome - Sep 16, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Oh and before his knee injury, Beltran played in 150, 140, 144, and 161 games in 4 seasons with the Mets. And he’ll probably play in 140 games by the time this season is over. Hardly a primadonna who misses games with a hangnail, like people here are saying. Frankly, given the horror stories I’ve heard about the Mets medical staff, Beltran should be glad he still has both knees intact.

  13. diablito0402 - Sep 17, 2011 at 12:15 AM

    Beltran is just not that good anymore, why even bother with him nowadays

  14. tashkalucy - Sep 17, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    I thought Pence would hit better in Philly. No doubt about it.

    The park is a bandbox (Mike Schmidt referred to it as “arena baseball”).

    And most importantly, Charlie Manual is manager, very probably the best hitting coach in MLB before he got to be a manager. Manny Rameriz credited him with turning him into a hitter, and Jim Thome was a low-level prospect when Charlie saw something in him and began to work with him.

    Most of the hitters the Phils have acquired over the past few years have hit better with Charlie as manager.

    Heck, if the Phils had gotten Beltran he would have hit better there.

  15. nyyankeedave - Sep 17, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Long shot here, I know, but I’d like to see them in the Prince Fielder sweepstakes(Prince & Panda alone would devour those post game clubhouse spreads!). BTW anyone know whether Kemp or Ethier are free agents too-I know Ethier wants out of LA and he’s an underrated bat.

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