Carlos Beltran must have forgot where he played to start the season. Friday night, Beltran indicated he would only return to the Giants if they are not simply banking on him, Buster Posey, and Freddy Sanchez. In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Beltran made it clear that he wanted protection in the line-up if he were to re-sign with the Giants in 2012.
There are three main problems to Beltran’s demands:
1) The Giants are a good team.
Beltran is concerned about the offense, and for good reason. The Giants ranked dead last in the National League in runs scored, RBI, and on-base percentage. They rank second to last in hits, total bases, batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS. In other words, the offense was horrid. But they are also depleted.
Beltran is looking for more than Buster Posey, Freddy Sanchez, and himself offensively. Yet, Beltran didn’t get a chance to see Posey or Sanchez in action. The Giants were essentially a team of pitchers trying to toss shut-outs so the offense didn’t have to bother themselves with scoring. With a healthy Posey and Sanchez, it stands to reason that the Giants offense would rebound. They don’t have to lead the league offensively. A simple bump to the middle of the pack would put them on pace for the postseason considering their pitching.
2) Beltran came from a dysfunctional team.
One of the main issues with Beltran’s criticism, no matter how veiled it may be, is his situation. Many would argue Beltran’s baseball life got exponentially better when he was traded to the Giants. He went from a team so financially damaged, their owner actually cowers at the thought of a confrontation with Bud Selig. The Mets were far from the euphoric play-off bound team Beltran thought he was signing with originally.
I’m not asking Beltran to thank his lucky stars for being rescued from the sinking ship that is the current Mets franchise. I’m simply asking that he take a step back, realize where he is in comparison, then make some judgments. In all honesty, the Giants were looking like a play-off bound team until he was traded to them, which brings me to the next point.
3) Beltran is not good enough to be making demands.
When Beltran was traded to the Giants, I, like many other writers, basically crowned the Giants division champs. Unfortunately for the Giants, Beltran did not live up to expectations. This seems to be a common theme of his career. Beltran is good, but not THAT good.
The quick response to this would be to point out Beltran’s batting average since joining the Giants. It is 23 points higher than with the Mets. Yet, his on-base percentage is 30 points lower and his overall OPS is only one point higher. Beltran’s WAR is always respectable, if not impressive, in years he can stay off the disabled list. But he is far from a Ryan Braun, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder type player.
This is not to say Beltran can’t and shouldn’t speak, buy he needs to understand the context of his situation. If I’m a top prospect with knowledge of both the Met situation (financial disaster) and the Giants situation (clashing egos in the front office), I’d be inclined to choose the Giants. Lest we forget, these Giants, when fully intact, won the World Series last year.
Food for thought.