Braves have chance to deal for Carlos Beltran? Do it now

The Braves have a chance to acquire a difference-maker in Carlos Beltran. (AP photo)

If the Braves don't swing a trade for Carlos Beltran, he could end up in San Francisco or Philadelphia. (AP photo)

Before you shoot down the idea of the Braves trading a top pitching prospect like Mike Minor to rent Carlos Beltran for two months, consider this: He could be the difference in the them winning the National League East Division. And the pennant. And the World Series.

Beltran, who’s in the final year of his contract with the New York Mets, has been connected to seemingly every playoff contender in baseball’s rumor mill. But ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that there are only five legitimate pursuers right now: The Braves, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston and Texas. He pegs the Braves as the favorites.

There’s also a school of thought that Beltran, who has a no-trade clause, prefers to be traded to a National League team. In other words, if the Braves don’t get Beltran, one of their two biggest competitors –  the Phillies or Giants — just might.

Beltran obviously isn’t the player he used to be, but he can still generate offense (entering tonight: .290, 15 homers, 61 RBI). He’s a switch hitter and can platoon in center field (Jordan Schafer) or right (Jason Heyward). He’s also a nice insurance policy should Chipper Jones struggle to return from a knee injury, or if he is reinjured (prompting Martin Prado to stay at third base and not return to the outfield).

But here’s the clincher: In four career playoff series with Houston and New York (22 games), he’s hitting .366 with a .485 on-base percentage, 11 homers and 19RBIs.

Imagine that as an option for the Braves in October.

If the Braves don’t have to mortgage their future for a rental player, general manager Frank Wren should make the deal. And since the Braves are deep in pitching, one prospect doesn’t qualify as mortgaging the future.

Do it.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

286 comments Add your comment

Addison

July 22nd, 2011
5:22 pm

First!!! Beltran is to washed up to give up a top pitching prospect for him

Josh

July 22nd, 2011
5:26 pm

Yeah I agree, .290 15Hr 61Rbi = Washed up. Lmao

Payton

July 22nd, 2011
5:27 pm

I think its a good move. Personally, i would like to see Beltran in LF and put Prado at SS for Gonzalez. I think that gives us our best lineup. We might be lacking a little on the defensive side, but it puts our best offensive players out there, which is what we need. I think its worth a shot.

aumatl

July 22nd, 2011
5:29 pm

The Braves are a WS contender with or without Beltran. Bring it Philadelphia.

Andy

July 22nd, 2011
5:30 pm

I agree with Payton. Our bats have been the issue so far, not our defense. i think it is worth a shot. If it doesnt work out, you can always go back to Prado in Left and Gonzo at short with Heyward or Schafer platooning with Beltran.

Charlies Hayes

July 22nd, 2011
5:30 pm

See ya Mike Minor. We need a big bat and Beltran is the it! Hey Wren – Get this deal done ASAP!!!!!!

DTC

July 22nd, 2011
5:31 pm

Jeff, go back on vacation. You made much more sense when you were not writing stuff like this. No, to trading Minor for Beltran! He is not worth losing a possible top notch picther for his entire career, for a 15 home run hitter? No!

Charlies Hayes

July 22nd, 2011
5:31 pm

While we are dealing with the Mets, lets trade Gonzo/McClouth/Proctor for Jose Reyes!!!!!!

Booger Eatin' Frenzy

July 22nd, 2011
5:31 pm

Beltran will hit the DL the first week he arrives in Atlanta. I’m not big on Minor or anything, but this idea is a joke.

ted williams head

July 22nd, 2011
5:32 pm

Just talked to Bill Shanks on Macon radio and he outlined the senarios on this trade and from that I say pull the trigger

satchmo

July 22nd, 2011
5:32 pm

How the Astros Hunter Pence?

Charlies Hayes

July 22nd, 2011
5:33 pm

The other rumor was to trade Beachy instead of Minor. I would rather keep Beachy. How will Minor help us win this year DTC?

Booger Eatin' Frenzy

July 22nd, 2011
5:33 pm

While we are dealing with the Mets, lets trade Gonzo/McClouth/Proctor for Jose Reyes!!!!!!

You are a moron. I hope this isn’t a serious suggestion.

Charlies Hayes

July 22nd, 2011
5:34 pm

Didnt your mama teach you not to call names and eat boogers….

Innocent Bystander

July 22nd, 2011
5:35 pm

He’s one foul ball off his foot away from making none of this worth it.

Also, statistically speaking, there’s no reason to believe that he’s magically better in the playoffs. Those numbers are more a byproduct of small sample size than anything.

Scott

July 22nd, 2011
5:35 pm

You r crazy schultz. That guy is washed up. Keep the pitching. The hitting is improving. It’s the pitching that’s let us down so far since the break.

Andy

July 22nd, 2011
5:35 pm

The mets already said they wont deal Reyes.

Charlies Hayes

July 22nd, 2011
5:35 pm

Why wouldnt it be a serious suggestion? Reyes could change the dynamics of the Braves to take them to the top. That kid is a run generating machine…..

Starsky

July 22nd, 2011
5:38 pm

Andy

July 22nd, 2011
5:38 pm

You have to offer more than that though. Proctor sucks and McClouth and Gonzo are not good enough for Jose Reyes. This deal might work on a video game bud.

Art Vandelay

July 22nd, 2011
5:39 pm

I’d rather have Michael Bourn, but I can’t really say Minor has showed me enough to say he’s untouchable, even if it’s for a rental player like Beltran. If he’s all we’d have to give up in the deal, I’m with you, Schultzie. Do it.

Joe

July 22nd, 2011
5:40 pm

I think the key here is that if the Braves don’t get him, Philadelphia or San Francisco might. I’d give up Minor to make Beltran ours and not theirs. Philly would be deadly with Beltran behind Utley/Howard and in front of Ibanez and breakup that lefty heaviness. Or he’d give the Giants a legit threat in their lineup that they lack.

Keep those teams where they are and improve yourself by giving up a piece that is expendable. The Braves can’t run an 8 man rotation out there anyways, somebody has to go. And they have the prospects to fill the rotation after Hudson/Lowe depart in 2013 even if they deal Minor (Teheran, Delgado, Vizcaino, Medlen, Olberholzer, Perez, etc.)

Buzz ME

July 22nd, 2011
5:42 pm

Agree with you Jef but………..I say put some skin i the game and go after Hunter pence. We can give up Minor with Theran at Gwinnett and Medlen waiting to come back. Dump Lowe.

Eric

July 22nd, 2011
5:43 pm

Well said Joe, i was about to say the exact same thing. I think Prado at SS would be a good move also. Gives us our best offensive players out there, thats for sure!

the buck stops somewhere...

July 22nd, 2011
5:45 pm

The Braves are deep in right handed pitching. A 2 month rental for the only left handed major league ready starting pitcher?

ugaaccountant

July 22nd, 2011
5:45 pm

No thanks. No washed up guys needed. We should play with our players, not rentals.

jfreak13713

July 22nd, 2011
5:46 pm

Most of you are missing the bigger point and that is keeping Phillies or Giants from getting Beltran. I wouldn’t mind making less deal to get Frenchy but looking at playoff picture I’d rather see Beltran in Braves uniform. Minor is a PROSPECT not proven starter. There is no reward without some risk. I’d take Beltran if Minor is all we have to give up. He gives you 3 extra wins this year at a minimum.

johnny

July 22nd, 2011
5:47 pm

He would be the final piece and maybe a bullpen extra guy… this team is over the top with that move and he is having a good “walk” year. This team has a great chance to win World Series with Beltran. Pull the trigger!

Sonny Clusters

July 22nd, 2011
5:47 pm

We was thinking Mike Minor is about the only left hander around. Maybe the Braves don’t need to keep him but sending him to the Mets in the same division could mean heartache for a long time. We was thinking Beltran might make enough of a difference and he might not. When he gets here he may turn into Dan Uggla for the next two months.

jfreak13713

July 22nd, 2011
5:49 pm

Stop with the Hunter Pence stuff. He is scheduled to make TOO much money next year for the numbers he generally puts up. The ONLY way the take a guy like Pence is if they can swing a trade for Lowe and that would force them to have only 1 veteran starting pitcher. NO WAY! Come on guys think before you speak (type) its always about the money.

Glenn

July 22nd, 2011
5:50 pm

When the Braves brought in Lee and Gonzales last year, both of them fizzled out as soon as they arrived in Atlanta after they were traded for. coincidence or Batting Coach? It doesn’t matter to me. The 2 month rental for a prospect like Minor isn’t worth the risk unless he’s willing to extend his contract for another year with team/player options.

TAC

July 22nd, 2011
5:52 pm

Beltran>Schafer and McLouth

I’ll take Beltran for Minor right now to be honest. It may seem a bit stupid to give up 4 or 5 years of Minor for 2 months of Beltran, but we are trying to win it all now,.

Eric

July 22nd, 2011
5:52 pm

i wouldnt mind seeing Frenchy back as a Brave. If he goes to the Mets, i just have this feeling, he will be a guy that can hurt us when we face them. Batting him behind Howard and Ibanez…its pretty dangerous.

Art Vandelay

July 22nd, 2011
5:52 pm

Glenn, we had a different batting coach last year. And Lee fizzled well before we got him.

StevoDeg

July 22nd, 2011
5:52 pm

@aumatl, I like that outlook. Thats what I’ve been looking for from everyone else.

And as I hear this over and over, I like it a little more, but I just cant deal with us trading a promising pitching prospect within our division. I do feel Beltran could help, but this will be a tough call. Wrens paid to make these decisions; glad I dont have to…

killerj

July 22nd, 2011
5:54 pm

Beltran=proven in the clutch……Prospect=taking a chance.Put him in a braves uniform.

JWeihrauch

July 22nd, 2011
5:56 pm

For those of you who say Beltran is washed up, please check his stats this year. The guy is hitting .290 with a very good OBP. 61 RBIs are an awesome RBI stats for the Braves lineup. I’m not sure how I feel about renting the player for a year at the though of seeing Minor throwing against our team. Minor is no scrub. He was the favorite going into the season to win the starting job, not Beachy. If Lowe could get traded to the Tigers and then we sign Beltran for WAY less money than he is getting now (end of a monster deal), then it would be totally worth it. My thoughts. GO BRAVES!!!

Nativebird

July 22nd, 2011
5:56 pm

Oh that’s great. What, you been drinking that Braves “gee-we-wanna-be-a-playa-too-and-make-stupid-trades” coolaid that this franchise seems to feed intravenously to Braves GM’s when they arrive at their office each day?
Stop…..puuulease. You build through the Draft and a great farm system. NOT rent-a-wash-up, nor rent-a-billionaire that you know you can’t resign, for 2 months.

ray k.

July 22nd, 2011
5:56 pm

For Delgado OR minor, yes. Teheran or vizcaino, no way.

NewbombTurk

July 22nd, 2011
5:57 pm

Get him before the Phillies do!!!!!! Minor might be a great pitcher down the road…might be. Beltran is a sure thing right now. GET HIM!!!

James

July 22nd, 2011
5:57 pm

Prado at SS! I hate Gonzo!

Cheesehead

July 22nd, 2011
5:58 pm

No Frenchy! Pleeeeaaasse! Get Beltran, keep him away from Phillies & Giants, & Win The World Series!

Whopper Dawg

July 22nd, 2011
5:59 pm

Keep the pitching. He is not a difference maker. A quality starter for a two month rental is just not smart. Now, if you could trade him for a batting coach, you might be doing something. We got the bats, they ain’t hitting.

VinnyD

July 22nd, 2011
5:59 pm

I don’t see Minor as an ace anyways. Most thought we drafted him too high to begin with because of a low ceiling. I see him as a future solid pitcher, 3.50-3.96 era, 13 win kinda guy.

James

July 22nd, 2011
6:00 pm

Prado at SS!!

bwell

July 22nd, 2011
6:01 pm

ARE THE BRAVES DUMB!!!!!!!! who cares if they win the East or not, record shows that they bomb out in the firstt round and he is in his final yr! REALLY, didnt we give up Wainwright? and other pitchers before? H-NO do not do it! Unless he sign a contract before the trade. REALLY two months of services, I can see if you are talking about Big Papa or Pujlos! Do not do it!

NorCal Brave

July 22nd, 2011
6:03 pm

Minor straight up for Beltran makes sense. We keep Beachy, still have outstanding minor league prospects, and Kris Medlen’s eventual return. Two (hopefully three) months with Beltran will vastly
improve the offense and the outfield options. If Carlos goes to the Phillies, it shuts the door on our
getting to the WS.

James

July 22nd, 2011
6:04 pm

Prado at SS!!! you guys think it is a good move??

Cedric

July 22nd, 2011
6:05 pm

How do we know the Mets would take Minor anyway but if they would I will pull the trigger my damn self

Joe

July 22nd, 2011
6:07 pm

Imagine this Braves fans:

Braves trade away Mike Minor, Omar Infante, Mike Dunn
Braves get back Dan Uggla and Carlos Beltran

You wouldn’t make that trade? You’d rule your fantasy league if you could find some moron dumb enough to make that deal.

Frank Wren is a genius.