The Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds have both been bandied about as potential Cardinals-ruining suitors for Carlos Beltran, the New York Mets' very own spoiler and top trade chit ahead of the MLB trading deadline on July 31. But with the Mets more or less out of contention Beltran has gotten some significant heat--or at least columnist heat--as a potential difference-maker for the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies, both locked in a dogfight atop the NL East.
The Braves have plenty of pitching prospects the Mets would covet--this blogger suggests Mike Minor--but at 34, injury-prone, and headed toward free agency Beltran is the ultimate rental, and teams have lately been reluctant to part with cost-controlled talent for even Carlos Beltran types. (Especially when that Carlos Beltran type is mentioned as possibly platooning with Jordan Schafer and Jason Heyward, which is probably not the situation Beltran is looking for.)
The Phillies are no strangers to high-cost veterans and gutsy moves, and with Ryan Howard's absurd contract still not set to begin until 2012(!) they can afford to pay the last stretch of Carlos Beltran's old megadeal.
And both of them would be fine with me, so long as they keep Beltran away from the Cardinals. Without Adam Wainwright's curveball I just don't want to think about it.