Carlos Beltran’s Value Depends on Payroll

Beltran's value depends on whether the Mets want better prospects or lower payroll.

A few stories have come out about Carlos Beltran, and his trade value with the New York Mets, detailed by MLB Trade Rumors here.  Buster Olney reports that if the Mets pay down his salary, every interested team would be in play.  Joel Sherman of the New York Post had this to say:

Beltran clearly is a better alternative since he can hit in the middle of any team’s lineup. But when outside executives were asked if they saw any teams willing to take on most to all of what is left on Beltran’s contract, the only two named consistently were the Giants and Tigers. But, again, the Mets could not then expect a significant prospect return.

Conversely, if they were willing to eat a large amount of dollars, then suddenly even payroll-challenged teams such as the Indians, Diamondbacks and Pirates would be in play. The big-payroll Red Sox, who desperately want a right-handed-hitting right fielder, are insisting they cannot spend significant dollars to get one. But if Beltran were paid down by the Mets, then Boston also enters the field. Also, if Beltran’s contract were paid down, the Phillies and Braves — who both have deep farm systems — almost certainly would be interested.

I would disagree with the idea that the Pirates couldn’t afford to take on the remainder of Beltran’s contract.  The reports say that he is owed a little over $6 M for the remainder of the year.  For the Pirates, this means that they end up with a payroll just under $53 M if they take on Beltran, all while giving up a Grade C pitcher to get him.  They could reduce that total payroll if they managed to unload Lyle Overbay and the $1.65 M remaining on his deal in the final two months of the season.

It really depends on what the Mets decide to do.  If they were willing to pay all of Beltran’s salary, they could get a top 76-100 pitcher for him, which is someone like Stetson Allie.  If they paid just $3 M of his remaining salary, they could get a Grade B hitter, like a Starling Marte.  Either price would be a lot for a two month rental who can’t be offered arbitration after the season, although that might be appealing to a team short on payroll space.

The Pirates have been linked to Josh Willingham, who would cost about $2.5 M for the remainder of the year.  Beltran would only cost about $3.5 M more, and would be a massive upgrade.  Both would be two month rentals, and the Pirates would be unlikely to receive compensation for either player.  Neither option would fetch a huge return, prospect-wise.  If the Mets decide that they just want to unload salary, like they did with Francisco Rodriguez, then I’d say the Pirates could definitely be players.

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Minor League Moves: Castro, Rodriguez

Next Story »

Pirates Have Also Checked on Conor Jackson

  • Bob

    I don’t want Willingham, he isn’t that good.

  • VincentR

    How Beltran played last time he got moved at the deadline is what got the Mets to overpay him. It would be nice if Bucs could catch the same lightening as Astros did.

  • white angus

    dont look now, but overbay has been hitting much better the last 2 weeks while jones is heading back down again.

    do we give overbay a chance to rebound, especially since his OPS is usually higher after the allstar break?  do we instead go with Jones, whom is pretty much a platoon player and not an improvement over Lyle…

    • Anonymous


    • Bob

      His #’s aren’t any better in 2nd half, just let Jones and Pearce platoon or bring up Hague.  

  • timothy

    i still feel tht we need first base the most but if we can get beltran as a rental for this season and then hit the free agent market pretty well then i wouldnt mind tradin a couple guys for him…. maybe give em ZVR??

Latest Analysis

  • Austin Meadows

    Austin Meadows Lowered His Hand Position to Add More Power

    19 hours ago

    Ever since he was drafted, Austin Meadows was regarded as a prospect with power that you could dream about. He drew comps to Jay Bruce in the ...

    Read More
  • Tarpley Brault

    Will the Snider Trade Result in the Pirates Finally Having a Left-Handed Starting Prospect?

    1 day ago

    Despite adding plenty of pitching through the draft over the last several years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been short on the amount of quality left-handed pitching in their ...

    Read More
  • Connor Joe 2

    Meet Connor Joe: The First Round Pick You Know Nothing About

    2 days ago

    This site is now in its seventh year of existence. For the last four years, I’ve been doing this full-time, allowing me to see every affiliate throughout the year, along ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What is the Difference Between Mel Rojas and Keon Broxton?

    2 days ago

    Mel Rojas Jr. was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round of the 2010 MLB draft. The son of the former big league closer had ...

    Read More
  • Jose Tabata

    The Details of Jose Tabata’s New Swing

    4 days ago

    On Friday I wrote about how Jose Tabata talked to Marlon Byrd over the off-season, aimed at changing his swing to add some leverage, lift the ball, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What Led to Keon Broxton’s Breakout Year in Altoona?

    5 days ago

    Keon Broxton used to be one of the top prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system. Baseball America ranked him as high as tenth in the system ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles