Already working to extend their current 3.5 game lead in the terribly uncompetitive National League West, the Giants may have just delivered the knock out blow. After Carlos Beltran agreed to waive his no trade clause, the Mets shipped him off to the Giants for a Minor League starter with an ERA hovering near 4.00 and a $2.5 million salary dump.
Beltran is in the final year of his contract and will likely become a free-agent next season unless the Giants re-work the deal (unlikely). However, the contract probably doesn’t matter much to San Francisco right now. This looks to be a 3-month rental trade for the play-off push.
And it’s the smartest move they could have made. Aaron Rowand, who will most-likely be going to the bench to make room for Beltran, has been a serviceable Major League outfielder throughout his career. However, he is sitting on a .244 average with 4 home runs and 20 RBI’s. Beltran on the other hand is hitting .289 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI’s. The adjustment shouldn’t be too tough for Beltran either. The Mets’ Citi Field play similar to AT&T Park in San Francisco.
For 3 months and $4 million, the Giants have acquired a player with 60.9 WAR for his career, 616.5 RAR (Runs Above Replacement), and a career walk-to-strikout ratio of 1.38. After losing Buster Posey for the year, Freddy Sanchez for a good chunk, and dealing with an anemic offense, the Giants may have just moved themselves from World Series hopeful to legitimate World Series contender.
As for the team in their rear-view, the Diamondbacks sat idly by while their competition got better. Stephen Drew is lost for the season, their bullpen is showing signs of reverting back to last year’s travesty, and their offense is inconsistent. Without a big move before the deadline (and really who’s out there?), there is little chance of the Dbacks catching the Giants.
Carlos Beltran may only be a rental, but he is a Lamborghini-type rental, rented by a teenager during spring break to pick up girls.