Coming to a Head
Like a Mt. Everest sized pimple on a 12 year old's face, this thing is ready to explode. Beltran appears to be down to the Mets and the Astros and with the Astros having put forward their final offer on Thursday, one would assume that Beltran is racking his brain at this point. That or Scott Boras is trying to shake more money out of the trees which is probably the more likely scenario. Either way I hope this thing closes out today. I've already pressed the refresh button about a million times in the past two days waiting for some new headlines to come across SportSpyder and I think I'm slowly losing my mind. I am contemplating going incommunicado throughout the day tomorrow to just keep my mind off it and check back Sunday morning to see how things shook out. Whether or not I'll be able to do that is the real question, but much to my chagrin, Steve Popper says that Boras is open to go past tonight's deadline . That would only spell bad news for the Mets in my opinion. If Boras blows past the deadline with what seems like a two horse race, that means another horse or two are seriously in it. Losing a team vying for Beltran is not a smart move unless there is a great reason to do it.
One would have to assume the Mets still had some growing room on their offer at least in years if not dollars per year. What is the difference between seven and eight years at this point? If they really want to get it done, they should lay that on the table at some point tomorrow to try and force Boras and Beltran's hand. At least Omar proved he is good at multi-tasking by inking Miguel Jesus Cairo to backup the infield for the bargain price of $900,000. Not only can it be good to sign anyone with the Jesus in the name, but Cairo has played every position but centerfield and catcher over the past three years and will be a valuable commodity because of that. I just hope Joe McEwing does not own property around here. If it was renting it would sure make it easier on him.
It’s getting hard to know what to believe anymore. Some people think the Astros have the edge and some people think the Mets are ahead. Not only does Jon Heyman think the Mets are ahead, but he thinks the Yankees are still lurking in the background and there are plenty of rumblings the Cubs are about to take it too $112 million.
Let's go Omar. Make this quick and painless.
* How often are the Mets going to be vying for an in-his-prime star and not competing against the Yankees (at least not yet)?....There is a Bronx-free opening here no one saw coming.
* There are no position players in their prime years due up for free agency in the next two off seasons who are nearly as good as Beltran, especially when you factor in the playing of a prime position.
* At his worst, Beltran is an extremely productive player who will be overpaid by a little. And there is the chance that he is about to run off a string of 5-to-8 years of 35-homer, 35-steal seasons with a few Gold Gloves, making him part of a Cooperstown conversation. In other words, he will never be a Vaughn-ian financial embarrassment. And his signing would send out the message throughout the majors that the Mets, armed with their new network, are real players again — that they have credibility.
If Delgado chose the Orioles over the Mets for similar money, he'll be saying winning does not matter to him. The Orioles are missing one key component to a winning baseball team called pitching. Without it, it is tough to win. When is the last time you heard offense wins championships? You do not hear that in any sport much less baseball. Throw on top that he will still be on a team that that is in the same division with the Yankees and the Red Sox and you have another few years of finishing in 3rd or 4th place.
"Think how excited we were this time last year (as Clemens was preparing to sign with the Astros), and nobody even knew Carlos Beltran was in our future," McLane said. "With him or without, we'll have a good team."
Ummm..no, you don't. No Beltran in 2004 means no playoffs in 2004. Two of the three killer B's will be pushing 40 with the other one missing substantial amount of time due to injury means a pretty weak lineup and no, getting Cruz Jr. or Winn won't help.
The same article has this tidbit:
McLane has had a much greater sense of optimism than some Mets officials. One person close to the situation even said it was probably a "long shot" for the Mets to beat out the Astros for Beltran.