NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – The Carlos Beltran era in Flushing is officially over.
The Mets announced on Thursday that they have acquired right-handed pitching prospect Zack Wheeler from San Francisco for Beltran. New York also sent cash considerations to the Giants.
“We’re excited to add a player of Zack’s caliber to our organization,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said in a statement. “Zack is one of the top pitching prospects in the game and we are fortunate to have him in our system.”
Wheeler is 7-5 with a 3.99 ERA in 16 starts for San Francisco’s high Class-A affiliate in San Jose. The Giants selected the hurler with the No. 6 pick in the 2009 draft.
“Well I’m a MET,” Wheeler tweeted shortly after the announcement. “Ready to get started on a new path.”
Beltran accepted the trade on Wednesday, leaving the Mets to join his new team after saying goodbye.
“He came over and shook everybody’s hands and said thank you,” Angel Pagan said. “We were very happy for him. He’s going to be with a team that’s a contender.”
Beltran left Cincinnati, held out of the lineup by the Mets, and traveled to Philadelphia to join the defending champions for their series finale against the Phillies. He was expected to bat third and play right field Thursday night for manager Bruce Bochy.
Then, it’s right back to Cincinnati to face the Reds in a weekend series with his new team. Talk about a whirlwind few days for the switch-hitting Beltran, who was fully aware he would be traded in the final year of a $119 million deal he signed with the Mets before the 2005 season. He was plagued by knee injuries the past two seasons, but has been healthy this year.
The 34-year-old Beltran leads the National League with 30 doubles and is batting .289 with 15 homers and 66 RBIs.
“Everyone here has anticipated it, whether we like it or not,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We knew it was going to happen. We’ve talked about it for the last 10 days.”
While Beltran hasn’t always been the most popular player with fans — many never being able to completely forgive him for striking out looking on a curveball against Cardinals closer Adam Wainwright to end the 2006 NLCS — he leaves as one of the great all-around Mets in team history.
He voluntarily moved from center to right field this season, and shook off injuries to return as one of the National League’s top hitters.
“He’s a complete player,” Bochy said. “Carlos has all the tools that you look for in a player. He has great instincts for the game. Plays the game hard, plays the game right. I still remember when Houston got him, and the job he did there.
“He’s a tremendous all-around player. He’s one of the elite players of the game.”
Mets fans: what do you think of the deal? Sound off in the comments below…
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