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Back in Spring Training, it was inconceivable that the Mets would be able to get a high quality prospect in return for Beltran. After playing 145 games combined the last two years, the 34 year old had to prove he could stay healthy and still play in order for the Mets to get value for him via trade. While that wasn't out of the question, getting a couple mid-level prospects or having a team take on some of his remaining salary would have certainly been a success. But the bottom line is Beltran exceeded expectations in every way. He quietly moved to right field before the season started. He's played in 98 of 103 possible games. And his league leading 30 doubles, along with 15 home runs and a .904 OPS had all the contenders salivating. Beltran's performance this year was a tremendous final act during his underrated Mets career. Any sour taste that certain New York fans had towards Carlos should be eliminated with the name “Zack Wheeler”.
Wheeler was the top pitching prospect in the Giants' organization. The 6'3” 21 year old was the 6th overall pick in the 2009 draft. Coming into this year, he was ranked as the 55th best prospect by Baseball America. In the middle of his second professional season, Wheeler has a 3.99 ERA and has averaged 10.3 strikeouts per 9 innings during his minor league career. His walk totals have been high, although he lowered his walks per 9 innings from 5.8 last year to 4.8 this year. It's beyond exciting to have a guy like this in the farm system. Combined with Matt Harvey, the Mets have two excellent young power arms that should be ready to contribute by 2013.
My respect and appreciation for Sandy Alderson could not be higher at the moment. After dealing with moves that reeked of desperation over the years, it feels good to have an adult running the show. We were all nervous as K-Rod finished game after game and got closer to that $17.5 million option; yet Alderson smoothly got rid of that problem. And now he had Beltran- a player that everyone knew had to be traded, but had limited realistic destinations. While it was suggested that the Mets had to lower their asking price, the general manager stayed strong and came away with a gem. It feels weird to say, but I have complete faith in the New York Mets front office.
Now he just needs to sign Jose Reyes.