Beltran to Mets

DMZ · January 9, 2005 at 4:58 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Word on the streets is a 7y, $119m agreement. Cameron to move to right though, frankly, I’d keep Cameron in center and move Beltran, as Cameron’s the better defender. They might not end up playing Cameron there, as his value as a CF is so much higher than RF they might find the trade market a more attractive option.

7y, $119m… I wonder if Steinbrenner’s picking up the phone right now, calling Boras to ask if it’s been signed yet, and if not–


48 Responses to “Beltran to Mets”

  1. James T on January 9th, 2005 5:04 pm

    What if Ron Shandler is right in his Baseball Forecaster in saying that with average luck on balls in play Beltran would have hit .326, not the .267 that he actually ended up at? How good would it be to have a good centerfielder who’s a great base stealer who hits .326 with 39 homers? Yikes.

    As a Sox fan, I’m just shocked that the yankees aren’t reloading and throwing aside the spent shell casing that is Bernie Williams. I can’t wait for this year’s surprise triples in yankee stadium.

  2. tvwxman on January 9th, 2005 5:08 pm

    Too bad he’s playing for the Mets.

  3. Christopher Michael on January 9th, 2005 5:53 pm

    With all the talk I was expecting him to get more. As if $17 million a season wasn’t alot. Same old Mets trying to out buy the Yankees so people will pay attention to them.

  4. my two cents on January 9th, 2005 6:38 pm

    Way too much money for one guy. He’s not as good as Cameron defensively, and he must have insisted he played center to sign with the Mets. His speed will erode over the years such as A Rod’s and Guerrero’s have or will, etc. etc. Even the Yankee’s realized he’ll command too much money for what he’s worth. Great player, yes. Icon, no. His unbelievable post season with the Astros was incredible timing for him. I think that’s a riskier move for the Met’s than the Mariner’s moves of Beltre, Sexson and Reese.

  5. Anthony on January 9th, 2005 6:51 pm

    What are the odds of Cameron ending up a Yankee? There’s no way Bernie Williams is their centerfielder next year. Cameron seems a perfect fit.

  6. misterjonez on January 9th, 2005 7:26 pm

    Cammy strikes out alot, doesn’t hit for a high average, and is pretty much a dead-pull right-handed hitter. I don’t see any way the Yankers could pass that one off on their fan base…they’d get ridiculed more for making that move than for letting Beltran go to the ever-so-hated-Amazin’s.

    Cammy is a valuable piece to a team who doesn’t need a middle-of-the-order hitter because of his amazing skills in CF. But he seems to get thrust into that role too often because of his power, and is a chronic disappointment. If we had him with the lineup we’ve got right now, he’d be a fantastic fit, because we really wouldn’t need his bat to produce anything significant. I just don’t see it happening…besides, having two CF’s playing in Shea isn’t a bad idea at all…reminds me of a certain M’s team…

  7. James T on January 9th, 2005 7:28 pm

    Yeah, that’s my worry, Anthony. I’d love for the yankees to get no one but I’d hope it to be Doug Glanville or someone like that who would be completely hopeless at bat instead of Cameron who still has offensive possibilities. Maybe they’d call Bavasi about Winn?

  8. tvwxman on January 9th, 2005 8:01 pm

    How about Winn to the ‘Stros? They seem to be in need of a CF about now.

  9. jeff on January 9th, 2005 8:07 pm

    All i say to say is i’m glad Beltran stays in the National League, although i wish he would have stayed with the Astro’s.

    Winn’s stock does go up by this trade though, who would be want on the astro’s? Obviously oswalt and pettie, but there is likely no chance there, so who else?

  10. Griff on January 9th, 2005 8:26 pm

    Brad Lidge, but there’s no way.

  11. greenlaw9 on January 9th, 2005 8:48 pm

    Derek, thanks for clearing up the first part of my question that I posted on the other thread… but what about this part? I’m interested to hear what you have to say…

    And the natural and completely predictable follow-up question is: what are the chances of Cammy making a return to the M’s? I know there’s lots of angles to take on this – given the rising of Reed, our surplus of outfielders and the Met’s possible surplus of outfielders, our general need for power balanced against whether Cammy’s average would hurt us. Then there’s also the whole Pokey signing angle and wondering how much Cammy might have made known his desire to play for the M’s again. Anyway, I’ll leave it to you guys to play that out.

  12. Adam J. Morris on January 9th, 2005 8:50 pm

    I’ve discussed with some of my fellow Rangers fans the possibility of getting Cameron from the Mets, putting him in CF and letting Nix move over to RF, where he’s better suited.

    My question, though, would be whether the Mets would have to pick up some of his contract to move him…he’s hurt right now, and had what is generally thought of as an abysmal season at Shea. If the Mets wanted to trade Cameron, wouldn’t it have to be as part of a salary dump?

  13. Allen Jacobs on January 9th, 2005 8:57 pm

    Good point not alot to choose from perhaps a young player like Chris Burke or Ezequiel Astacio. Astacio had very good peripheral stats at Round Rock but I haven’t written seen much on his potential.

  14. David J Corcoran on January 9th, 2005 9:04 pm

    Beltran is the most overrated player in baseball, in my mind. Compare his numbers to Mike Cameron’s. Cammy is only marginally worse in each category (.250-.270, 25-38, etc.). And Beltran is the worse defender. Strikeouts aren’t there though, which gives Beltran the edge. But cammy has been at the Safe and Shea, and Kauffman/Minute Maid are more hitterable parks. Beltrans numbers will drop in a more pitcher friendly Shea. My thinking is that he has been disguised by hitterish parks in 2004. Compare Jeromy Burnitz’s 1999 numbers to Beltran’s 2004 numbers. Both were in the same stage of career at the time.
    AVG: .270/.267
    HR: 33/38
    OBP: .402/.367
    SLG: .561/.548
    K: 124/101
    BB: 91/92

    They are eerily similar, no? And both played at hitters parks in Miller Park and Kauffman/Minute Maid.

    The Mets are making a mistake.

  15. David J Corcoran on January 9th, 2005 9:10 pm

    Wait, they were still at County Stadium, which gives Burnitz MORE of an edge.

  16. Evan on January 9th, 2005 9:15 pm

    Since 1999, Cameron has put up the following EqAs:

    1999 .274
    2000 .288
    2001 .301
    2002 .287
    2003 .279
    2004 .272

    That .301 peak was in his age 28 season. And over that same period he’s stolen 191 bases at a 77% success rate. Cammy’s a credible offensive player, in addition to his sick glovework. He’s hardly a bat you need to hide. He still looks like an average major-league hitter for the immediate future, and since he slugged a park-adjusted .482 in 2004, I wouldn’t mind hitting him sixth in the order.

  17. Marty Lighthizer on January 9th, 2005 9:16 pm

    Re: #14
    “More hitterable” parks? “Hitterish”? “Hitters”?
    Maybe try “hitteresque”? Or “hitterlicious”? 😉

    At any rate, I think most will agree that Beltran is overrated, but Cameron’s lack of plate discipline puts him far beyond “marginally worse” offensively.

  18. The Ancient Mariner on January 10th, 2005 12:05 am

    I don’t think Cam’s problem is plate discipline, particularly; and while he has his limitations, I really hope Bavasi’s been on the phone to Minaya all day.

  19. Scraps on January 10th, 2005 2:26 am

    Striking out a lot is not the same as a lack of plate discipline. Cameron walks a lot, too. He waits for a pitch and tries to mash it. He misses a lot, but it isn’t like Jim Presley, swinging at pitches in the next batting cage.

  20. Nikku on January 10th, 2005 6:59 am

    I can’t believe that the Yanks are going to let Bernie play in CF.
    If they do, then the signings of Wright and Pavano are going to look a lot worse with all those hits dropping in.

  21. Jeff on January 10th, 2005 8:31 am

    re #14 – Not sure where you got the numbers for Cameron (this year, he was .230 and 30) but 20 points of average and 13 HRs is not a marginal difference. As for Beltran being the worse CF – Beltran had 6.0 fielding WS this year, Cameron had 5.9. I still think Cameron is probably better, but it’s not a big difference.

    For Burnitz, his ’99 numbers were put up when he was 30. Beltran was 27 this past year, so they weren’t at the same stages of their career. And Beltran added 42 SBs, compared to Burnitz’s 7. While their other numbers are similar, Burnitz cannot be used as a valid comparison for Beltran.

    Can you name a better CF right now than Beltran? Can you name a better CF for the next seven years than Beltran? I like this move better than the Pedro signing.

  22. hans on January 10th, 2005 9:04 am

    Here’s the real question. Since the Mets now have Beltran AND Cameron, do the really NEED a 3rd outfielder? Think of the flexibility this gives Minaya in assembling his roster. He can add any position to his lineup.

    Also… David J. Corcoran, I love the use of hitterable and hitterish. Very creative. Good reading.

  23. Jerry on January 10th, 2005 9:45 am

    It is pointless to compare Beltran, Burnitz, and Cameron without considering their contracts. Everyone agrees that Belran is a very good player. You could probably say that he is a great player. However, the Met’s just gave him ‘elite’ player money. $17 mil/season is a huge financial investment, and the Met’s are stuck with him for 7 years with a no-trade clause (I thought that team’s were moving away from these).

    Beltran is 27, and coming off a career year. However, his stats are really not that great. He was nowhere near the best player in the league. He is a guy who can do everything well, but isn’t really the best at anything (expect maybe stealing bases, which is not a talent that earns you 17 mil/year). He is a very good player, but I am not sure that he is in the top-20 best players in baseball. The Met’s are paying him like a top-5 guy.

    The main problem with this signing is that they have gone beyond paying him for his best year. Clearly, 2004 was his best season so far, but the Met’s are paying him with the notion that he will continue to get better. That is possible, but highly risky.

    All in all, I think that the M’s signing of Beltre was a better move. They have a shorter commitment, are paying him far less, and don’t have the hinderance of the no-trade clause. With Beltre, the M’s are just hoping that he approximates his 2004 stats, which is not a sure thing, but better than expecting him to reach a level of performance that he hasn’t reached yet. Plus, if you compare their 2004 stats, Beltre is clearly the better player:

    Beltre: .334 AVE, .388 OBP, .629 SLG, 1.017 OPS, 48 HR, 121 RBI, 53/87 BB/K, 7 SB, 2 CS
    Beltran: .267 AVE, .367 OBP, .548 SLG, .915 OPS, 38 HR, 104 RBI, 92/101 BB/K, 42 SB, 3 CS

    These stats show that Beltre was a much better hitter in 2004 in basically every aspect. Both are well above average defenders, although Beltran plays a more desirable position. The stolen bases also give Beltran an edge, but, overall, I would say that Beltre is the more valuable player. Plus, the M’s paid 5 mil/year less for Beltre, for less years and with better contract terms.

    Beltran is a good player, but I am glad that the M’s went in the direction that they did.

  24. Joshua Buergel on January 10th, 2005 10:17 am

    Clearly, 2004 was his best season so far, but the Met’s are paying him with the notion that he will continue to get better.

    Actually, according to Baseball Prospectus, 2001 was his best year so far (9.9 WARP3, with a combined 9.6 WARP3 this year). Beltran has been averaging around a 9 in WARP3 for the past 4 years, while Beltre..well, not so much. In terms of value, Beltran has been right about the same place as Ichiro!, which is pretty nifty and is a useful reminder that we should be happy we’ve got Ichiro! on his current contract. As far as the contract, if the market value of a win for a big market team like the Mets is roughly $2 million, and his established value is right around 9 wins, it seems like the contract is right on if perhaps too long.

  25. Jon Helfgott on January 10th, 2005 10:27 am

    Hey Dave (Cameron): Where would the Beltran signing rank in your previously released list of top 10 best/worst signings?

  26. M.O. on January 10th, 2005 10:35 am

    As I just wrote in my blog, the Astros are considering trading for Alfonso Soriano (for Texas, this frees up money to pursue Carlos Delgado). To me, this says they are willing to give up Chris Burke who hit 300/400/500 ish for AAA New Orleans last year, and plays a very solid second base. Winn for Burke/Astacio would be an excellent Win-Winn deal.

  27. DMZ on January 10th, 2005 10:39 am

    As I just thought to myself, that’s a weird move for Texas.

  28. Jon Helfgott on January 10th, 2005 12:06 pm

    It’s entirely possible that I’m missing something, but…how does Texas’s willingness to trade their starting second baseman to dump salary mean that they’re also willing to trade a solid 2B prospect and take on salary?

  29. Jon Helfgott on January 10th, 2005 12:07 pm

    Got it. Those are Astros prospects.

  30. Tangotiger on January 10th, 2005 12:21 pm

    Funny how many here are saying that Cameron is definitely the better defender. In my scouting survey, the fans have Beltran (clearly) ahead of Cameron, and this is for 2 years running. Hou/KC fans are much more impressed than Sea/NY fans were.

    Beltran also has great speed. I give Beltran 11 million$ for his bat, 1 million$ for his speed, and 5 million$ for being a great fielder at a demanding position. That’s 17 million. 7 years though…. That implies no discount for injuries or aging. 7/100 would have been fair, but at these crazy levels, and the extra impact he’d have to a large market fan base… It’s an ok deal.

    Cameron in right though… yeesh… you’ll get more by trading him, than using him in RF.

  31. DMZ on January 10th, 2005 12:37 pm

    In my scouting survey, the fans have Beltran (clearly) ahead of Cameron, and this is for 2 years running.

    How do fans they rate their offense?

  32. Joshua Buergel on January 10th, 2005 12:47 pm

    In my scouting survey, the fans have Beltran (clearly) ahead of Cameron, and this is for 2 years running. Hou/KC fans are much more impressed than Sea/NY fans were.

    First, a scouting survey by fans is really nifty, and I’m off to take a look at it. I wonder if some of the same effects you see in gold glove voting are in play here. The GG often seems to go to adequate (or worse) defenders who happen to hit well. Beltran ranking ahead of Cameron on defense might reflect Seattle fan frustration with his strikeouts, for example.

  33. Paul Molitor Cocktail on January 10th, 2005 12:51 pm

    Now that Cammy is on the open market…

    How about trading (say) Winn for him, straight up? Winn is cheaper, hits for better average, and was perfectly adequate in left.

  34. Tangotiger on January 10th, 2005 1:31 pm

    DMZ: my focus was soley on fielding. You can get the whole report here:

    I’ll also note that Ichiro was the highest ranking player again. Is it his stubborness that keeps him in RF? Everything about him scream CF.

    Joshua: as for biases, I’m sure there are plenty. Age is one. For the most part, the older guys who used to be good have been blinded by the fans as they get older. Eventually, the fans catch on.

    Another is frustration. While Kaz Matsui is a horrible SS, he would probably be adequate at 2B or LF. But, you couldn’t tell that by looking at how the fans rated him. Mets fans went to great length to denigrate him. His profile line looks like Roger Cedeno, but Matsui is clearly better than Cedeno (which is not saying much).

    Another is positional bias. I asked everyone to rank players against a mythical average player, without taking position into account. I’m sure some people ranked players at their position instead.

    Finally, a team bias. One look at the Cards and Redsox fans, and it looks like they have lots of good fielders.

    With that said, what we have here is a snapshot of how fans look at their players, and it’s especially valuable in the cases where you’ve never seen a player. Say, I’ve never see Randy Winn. I’d like to see what fans think of him.

    Beltre fans are in love with his fielding.

  35. Joshua Buergel on January 10th, 2005 2:05 pm

    Say, I’ve never see Randy Winn. I’d like to see what fans think of him.

    Like staring at a picture too long, we’re all still having trouble dealing with Cameron’s afterimage. I notice that poor Randy did even worse than Ibanez in your survey. Ouch. I also think that people were watching a different Jeremy Reed than I was.

    Beltre fans are in love with his fielding.

    As one of those sad KC fans, I’ve watched as much of Beltran as I can, and you can count me as a big fan of his fielding. I wonder if Cameron’s position in his surveys isn’t also hurt by how effortless he is out there. Sort of the anti-Derek Jeter.

    A very cool project, I’ll try and make sure to submit to it this coming year.

  36. MR on January 10th, 2005 2:09 pm

    Is it crazy to suggest the M’s should explore what it would take to bring Cameron back?

  37. The Ancient Mariner on January 10th, 2005 3:00 pm

    Crazy, no (though somehow I doubt the Mets would want to trade him for Winn); it seems to be the response of a great many M’s fans, actually, and I think dealing Cameron would make a lot of sense for the Mets, since a lot of Cam’s value is his CF defense. He’s worth more to other teams as a CF than he is to the Mets as a RF, which makes this a good time for them to deal him–from my point of view, in fact, with the signing of Beltran, dealing Cameron is only the smart thing for them to do. As for our chances, we don’t have anyone who would make sense for them in RF, but we have young pitching, which might interest them.

  38. DMZ on January 10th, 2005 4:13 pm

    While I would not entirely discard the defensive evaluations of fans, as they may as a whole have a good idea that one player has a weak arm, while another has good range, I wouldn’t ever rely on such data as evidence that a player is better or worse than another. Madness of crowds, even beyond the perception issues a fan of one team has towards evaluating players of their own and other teams.

  39. David J Corcoran on January 10th, 2005 4:25 pm

    It looks to me like that fan report has a lot of what people have told them, released into the pool of knowledge. Olivo was not better defensively than Wilson last year, but everyone said he was. No way Justin Leone and Jose Lopez were better defensively than Bloomquist, but common knowledge is that they are. Spiezio was certainly better than Raul Ibanez. And Ramon Santiago wasn’t that good defensively…

  40. Adam J. Morris on January 10th, 2005 4:51 pm

    Derek, sending Soriano to Houston for Burke/Backe isn’t really that weird of a move for Texas.

    Soriano is going to make $8 million in 2005, and Buck wants him gone. His offense was disappointing last season, his defense was as bad as advertised, and he irritated Buck with a somewhat lackadaisical attitude in the field.

    He’s not going to be in Texas long-term, so they’d like to cash him in now, plug Burke in at 2B, Backe into the rotation, and use the money saved from trading Soriano (since Tom Hicks has gotten Fiscal Religion and doesn’t want payroll to go above around $55 million) to bring in Delgado to DH, which is an upgrade over the Colbrunn/Dellucci platoon they are looking at now.

  41. David J Corcoran on January 10th, 2005 4:59 pm

    Now, the big question is, if this trade go through, does Houston leave Biggio in Centre and Soriano at 2nd, or better exploit each players abilities by putting Biggio at 2nd and Soriano in centre?

  42. Adam J. Morris on January 10th, 2005 5:24 pm

    I don’t know that Soriano would be any better defensively as a CF than he is as a 2B.

  43. David J Corcoran on January 10th, 2005 7:23 pm

    He seems like it. He’s fast, has a decent arm…. He’d be better than Biggio, I think, and Biggio would be a better 2B than Soriano.

  44. tangotiger on January 10th, 2005 8:25 pm

    The scouting report is still open, for those who want to participate:
    Please read the article, before voting.

    DMZ: I agree that the best part of the report is that it gives you a sense as to his breadth of his skills, within the player himself. (Ten years from now, when someone asks about Randy Winn, you can look up the report and see that what his best trait was.) Player-to-player comparisons, within a team, are pretty good, but not great. Team-to-team comps are good.

    Note that the only people who responded to the survey are those hardcore baseball fans who saw the player at least 10 games. This is essentially means that you only vote for your own players. So, any hometeam bias would affect all teams. Though, as noted with the Sox/Cards, some hometeam bias is stronger than others.

    As for Jeremy Reed, and Randy Winn, etc… like I said, this is a snapshot of readers just like yourselves. If you don’t think that Reed was that good, then you are in a minority… unless of course the fans I reached out to are not representative.

  45. David J Corcoran on January 10th, 2005 8:50 pm

    Reed DID look very good in his limited time. So I can understand why fans voted him up.

  46. Jon Helfgott on January 11th, 2005 8:03 am

    Isn’t the whole idea behind Texas trading Soriano to move Young back over to 2B, his natural position?

  47. DMZ on January 11th, 2005 12:46 pm

    Deleted the Morse comments. It was topic drift, which we’ve warned about, and I wasn’t particularly happy about the tone either. Please email complaints about this to me.

  48. Evan on January 11th, 2005 2:15 pm

    Keep in mind – Cameron had some injuries in New York that limited his speed.

    I’d rank his instincts and first step above any other active player.