Bye-Bye Carlos Beltran Day? Today May Mark Last Stand With Mets At Citi Field

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — The Mets’ lineup will likely have a much different look when they return home from their upcoming 10-game road trip on August 1.

At the center of trade talk all around New York — and baseball — is Carlos Beltran. The switch-hitting slugger is perhaps the biggest prize available on the market as the July 31 non-waiver deadline approaches.

So Thursday afternoon might be Mets fans’ last chance to glimpse the All-Star in blue and orange at Citi Field. As WFAN’s Craig Carton is calling it: “Bye-Bye Beltran Day.”

Multiple reports have the Red Sox and Phillies as Beltran’s most aggressive suitors. The Giants and Indians have also been mentioned to be in the mix. Wherever he goes — if he does — general manager Sandy Alderson will be looking for the best package of prospects in return.

“I cannot assume anything right now,” Beltran said on Wednesday. “Nobody’s talked to me. Nobody’s said anything to me.”

The Mets, meanwhile, are back above .500 and in position to sweep the struggling Cardinals at home for the first time in nearly five years.

“What’s the option, give up? Let us take it down a different path? We want to make it hard for the front office,” pitcher R.A. Dickey said.

Beltran, who homered Wednesday and is batting .366 with five home runs and 17 RBIs his last 18 games, is not worrying about his future.

“Not really thinking about it. I hear what you hear, but I have to prepare myself and help the team any way I can,” he said.

“He’s a human being,” manager Terry Collins said about Beltran. “He’s dealt with it before. In his heart, he wants to be here. It’s where he wants to play.”

While Beltran remains in the Mets’ mix, teammate Jason Bay could be out after leaving Wednesday’s game with a tight right hamstring. Bay has hit .108 (4 for 37) his last 11 games.

Angel Pagan homered in the 10th inning to help New York (49-48) rally from an early four-run deficit and win 6-5 on Wednesday. Winners in 15 of 21 at home versus St. Louis, the Mets have a chance to sweep the Cardinals for the first time since Aug. 22-24, 2006.

Jonathon Niese (9-7, 3.73 ERA) will be trying to win his third straight start. The left-hander improved to 6-2 with a 2.81 ERA over his last nine starts after he allowed one earned in seven innings of an 11-2 win over Philadelphia on Saturday.

“He is getting tougher,” Collins said.

Though Niese suffered a season-ending hamstring injury while going just 1 2-3 innings against St. Louis on Aug. 5, 2009, he allowed one run in six innings of an 8-2 win over the Cardinals at Citi Field last July 27.

Niese will face Albert Pujols, who is 1 for 4 with a double against him and expected back in the lineup after going 0 for 2 off the bench Wednesday. Pujols is 0 for 10 his last three games and batting .136 (3 for 22) his last five at Citi Field, but will try to help the Cardinals (50-47) avoid a fourth consecutive loss.

Matt Holliday had three hits with two RBIs on Wednesday for the Cardinals, who are 13-22 since June 8.

“You’ve got to start winning games,” said Holliday, batting .357 with 11 RBIs his last 11 games. “But at the same time, you don’t panic and start doubting yourself.”

Scheduled Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook (7-4, 5.26) has not lost since June 12, but is 1-0 with a 5.53 ERA in five starts since that defeat at Milwaukee.

The right-hander has not factored in the decision of his last two starts – both against Cincinnati. He allowed a pair of solo homers and struck out five in five innings of a 6-5 loss to the Reds on Friday.

Westbrook did not have much success as he yielded five runs and 11 hits over seven innings of a 6-4 loss in his only appearance versus New York while with Cleveland on June 17, 2010.

After resting Pujols to start Wednesday, manager Tony La Russa may do the same with slugger Lance Berkman, batting .219 (7 for 32) with three homers and four RBIs his last 10 games.

Is today Bye-Bye Beltran Day? Sound off in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Rob

    I`m not afraid of the Mets trading away all their big stars for prospects (Including Reyes), because the Marlins do it all the time, and have already won 2 championships, and are in the thick of things every year….

  • Tom M

    Lots of good players haven’t won championships…….this guy has and always will be a class act. Thanks Carlos more players should be like you. Your a stand-up guy.

  • Ron Davis

    I always appericated Carlos during the whole tenure of his Mets career even before. He always has been one of the standup guy. He grown alot as a person and developed thick skin he had too. Too bad he did not make the playoffs but once. But thank you Carlos for choosing the Mets. Thanks for your effort

  • dabooch

    The Minayan Empire Crumbles

  • JetersDone

    If you would have asked me before the season started I would have said bye-bye Carlos. Now I wouldn’t be against bringing him back for another 2 years, maybe 13 million per. He really has put up great numbers as a Met and has arguably been our best clutch hitter throughout his whole time with the Mets. If he does go, he can hold his head up high about his performance as a Met. Thanks Carlos!

    • You No Big Papi!

      Well put! A lot of Mets fans are suddenly flip flopping and are feeling a little antsy about trading Beltran. But it’s what has to be done. This team must rebuild and if it means Beltran gets to win a championship without the Mets, then so be it.

      • Anthony

        Yeah I hear you. I personally never faulted him for striking out on Wainwrights curve. I mean give me a break! Any Mets fan that hates him because of that one pitch has never played the game…’s not as easy as it looks! I love Wright & Reyes! Yes, partly because they are home grown and partly because they are good players. Actually Reyes is great! A lot of people want to dump Wright because he’s not Captain Clutch. Who said he has to be? Why does he have to be the face of the franchise? Enjoy him for what he is…..a very good player. Surround him with a few guys who are more “clutch”. I think people are starting to realize that the farm hands are not taking this team to the playoffs. Turner & Tejada are nice utility players… more… less

    • JeterKingOfNY

      so what you’re saying is you’re now contradicting yourself.

      You stated you would have said bye-bye Carlos before the season started. What changed your mind?

      I’m sure you wanted him out the door the moment he struck out in the NL Championship, but being that your one of those typical Mets fans you only recognize a player only when they’re doing well.

      Beltran has shown that when healthy, he is the best all round player the Mets ever had.

      So yes, say Bye Bye Beltran, yes Bye Bye Reyes and say hello to years of misery

      • JeterKingOfNY

        Sorry, not trying to be nasty, it’s just that Mets fans wanted Beltran out since that October day, yet want to keep players like Wright & Reyes because they are homegrown, understandable, but if you look at Beltran’s numbers with the Mets the first 3 yrs no Met has been better.

        As good as Wright & Reyes are, Beltran is the one player that can carry this team, they can’t.

        When he came to the Mets, Beltran was one of the best centerfielders in baseball, one of the best switch hitters in baseball & now that he’s healthy Mets fans want to keep him when the last two years they wanted him out, yet he’s was hurt during that time.

        You can’t have it both ways. It’s like Benigno on FAN, he’s hated Beltran, not for the player, but for striking out that day, after ridiculing the guy for the last two years he now thinks, hey, maybe the Mets should keep Beltran & resign him.

      • Anthony

        Wow! Why so nasty? You are right. I have had a change of heart regarding Beltran. You are also right when you say it took him getting hot to make me realize just how good he’s been. Sometimes a player getting hot can make you look back on his career and realize that he has never been the problem. I was not one of those fans that wanted to toss him after striking out against Wainwright. As for Reyes and Wright…..I never wanted to get rid of them and still don’t. I can’t stand when people say they haven’t won anything! Give me a break! There have been many example of awesome players not winning…..Mike Piazza

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