By Rich Coutinho
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Trading Carlos Beltran is seemingly the next move for Sandy Alderson, but he might have an interesting decision to make. Chances are great that he might receive a better deal in terms of prospects from a National League team and he might be posed with the decision of whether he’d be willing to trade him to the Fightin’ Phils.

The last thing any Mets fan wants to see is Beltran in a Phillie uniform, (OK maybe the second to last thing, next to him in a Yankee uniform) but they might receive the best package from them in terms of prospects, better than say, the Giants. Ideally, a Mets fan would want to see a deal with the BoSox because it is out of the league, but it seems that Theo Epstein’s focus will be on adding pitching at the deadline.

Sandy Alderson is left with a tough choice — get the better deal and possibly watch Beltran lead the Phils to a championship or take a deal elsewhere that has a lesser chance of roping in a top prospect. After being around Alderson my sense is that he is not afraid to deal with a divisional rival if he feels it is the best deal for the organization.

These Beltran talks are still very much in the “incubation stage” but once both Jose Reyes and David Wright return (with Wright expected to join active roster by Friday) I expect the conversations with interested teams to intensify. Sandy has told me on numerous occasions that this team must be built to win at Citi Field and that means he wants pitching prospects so he can build a team based on speed, defense, and power pitching.

That means that Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Johan Santana will form the core of this team in 2012, with the development of Ike Davis very much dependent on his health. It also means that he will very much want to get a good look at the young arms in the organization between now and year’s end.

As we approach the July 31st deadline, Alderson will get a bunch of calls about Carlos Beltran. What will be most interesting is whether he will seriously consider the offer from the City Of Brotherly Love that will come in the next week or so. And the Mets general manager must not get caught up in whether public sentiment will be critical of this particular move. He needs to get the best players possible in return for the most desirable offensive player on the market. And he can not afford to be gun-shy just because it is the Phillies that are calling.

Everything I know about him, leads me to believe if it is the best deal for the future of the Mets, Sandy will pull the trigger.

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