|Is Carlos Beltran the "big bat" the Braves are looking for?|
If the Braves do make the trade for Beltran, he will strictly be a rental player, as his contract is up at the end of the season. I think the Braves wanted Pence more, as he is under contract past this season, but the Astros wanted a multi-player package of top prospects, which the Braves were smart in declining. Concerning Beltran, the asking price is lower than Pence, but is he worth a top prospect for 2+ months of service?
That's the question the Braves must answer. The Mets were in town to watch Mike Minor's start for the Gwinnett Braves last night, and it appears that he would be the centerpiece of a deal. If the Mets are willing to swap Beltran for Minor straight up, I think that's a good deal for Atlanta, as there is plenty of starting pitching depth in the minors. I hear the Mets are willing to help by picking up most to all of the money left on Beltran's contract this year, so this could be a good deal for the Braves if Minor is deemed expendable.
Do the Mets want more than just one top level prospect? Here is where a possible trade could reach an impasse. If the Mets are looking for another MLB ready prospect, is it worth it to the Braves for two months of Beltran?
In my opinion, making a trade for Beltran is a risky proposition under any circumstance due to his penchant for the disabled list. He has spent tons of time on the DL in the last five years, and an injury could make the trade a complete bust.
If it's Beltran for Minor with the Mets picking up Beltran's contract, I'd make the deal. My gut feeling is the Mets want more that just Minor, and the Braves are hesitant to give up too much for a rental player. Another player rumored to be a target for the Braves is Jonny Gomes of the Reds. He would be a much cheaper target and wouldn't be forced to be an everyday player. He could fit in a platoon against lefties, as outfielders Nate McLouth, Jordan Schafer and Jason Heyward are all left-handed hitters. As reluctant as the Braves are to trade coveted prospects sometimes, Jonny Gomes appears to be a more likely addition to the Braves roster.