Thursday, July 28, 2011

Alderson makes it official, Beltran and Cash to Giants For Pitching Prospect Zach Wheeler


The Mets officially announced Thursday morning that they had traded right fielder Carlos Beltran, along with cash, to the San Francisco Giants for Zack Wheeler, a right-handed minor league pitcher.

In a conference call Thursday afternoon, General Manager Sandy Alderson provided insight into the deal, which in the short term will hinder the Mets’ chances for a playoff berth.

In the long term, however, the deal brightens the Mets’ future with a highly regarded prospect described by Alderson as a “high end talent” with “top end potential.”

Though he declined to reveal the specifics of his negotiations with other teams, Alderson said talks heated up Monday with a number of clubs. The Giants came to the Mets with an offer Tuesday that they were pleased to accept.

“We were looking for big upside,” Alderson said. “We could have gotten a package of three players, from a number of clubs, but the overall potential of those players would not have equaled Zack’s potential. In that way, we sacrificed a little bit of diversification for top-end potential.”

Though he declined to reveal the specifics of his negotiations with other teams, Alderson said talks heated up Monday with a number of clubs. The Giants came to the Mets with an offer Tuesday that they were pleased to accept.

“We were looking for big upside,” Alderson said. “We could have gotten a package of three players, from a number of clubs, but the overall potential of those players would not have equaled Zack’s potential. In that way, we sacrificed a little bit of diversification for top-end potential.”

Alderson also addressed to an extent the notion that Beltran, despite interest from teams like the Texas Rangers and the Boston Red Sox, would have refused to switch to the American League. Beltran had a no-trade clause in his contract.



“We didn’t have total latitude, but we did have some latitude beyond the National League,” Alderson said, adding that those teams would not have used Beltran as a designated hitter, the only reservation Beltran had expressed publicly.

Alderson added, “I always felt there was a possibility he would go to an American League club, but I always felt as well that there would have needed to be a strong case for it.”

Alderson said an optimistic timetable for Wheeler’s progression would have him pitching in the major leagues by the 2013 season, and he acknowledged that the trade of Beltran in the short term would make life harder for his current players.

He said, for that reason, the Mets were probably finished making trades, even with a few days left before the nonwaiver deadline.

“I’d be very reluctant to make it any tougher on them,” Alderson said.
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