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My Final Post On Beltran Or, Can I Get A Hallelujah!
by Derek Smart
The race to give Carlos Beltran a bath in the green-tinted faces of dead presidents has concluded, with the honor of wielding the gold-plated scrub-brush being given to the New York Mets.
Reports indicate that the price is around $119M over seven years, and as I've written before, I'm more than happy to let him play elsewhere at that price, and especially for that length of time. Too many things can happen over seven years, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised if by 2010 or so the Mets were looking to move him. I congratulate Jim Hendry on his restraint.
That said, the Mets have certainly improved themselves in the short term, although his addition to the team raises the question of what to do with Mike Cameron. Word is that he'll move to right to make room for his defensive inferior, but there's always the possibility that he gets traded somewhere: Say, I hear there's a team in Houston that needs a center fielder.
Speaking of the Astros, I'll admit to being a little torn about their non-acquisition of The Dark Prince. Naturally, I'm pleased that the Cubs will only have to play against him for six games at the most, and anything that lessens the Astros' chances for 2005 is alright by me. Yet I'm fairly sure that the deal they had on the table ($105M for seven years) would have made it difficult for them financially, whether by harsh reality or choice, for nearly the entire length of the contract. I'd certainly have no objections to that scenario.
So, while they're in rough shape in the near future, I think Houston was saved from themselves to a certain extent. Certainly they would have been better with Beltran in the fold, but only for the first year or so of the contract, and even then the loss of some other key players might have been enough to make 2005 an exercise in the quixotic.
What they've unwillingly done is exchange a couple years of extra competitiveness for what will likely be a faster convalescence period, and while that might not be fun for their fans to watch in the present, it might be the best thing for the future health of their organization.