Beltran Will Wind Up Helping Somebody

One of the advantages of interleague play is getting to see players that you might not always get to see or be completely aware of. For fans in Philadelphia, Carlos Beltran is one of those players. Add to that the fact that he is the subject of trade rumors around the majors and the fact that the Phillies need a center fielder and you have something to pay close attention to this weekend.

The best way to truly appreciate a player is to see him over a period of time. Granted, a weekend isn't a great sample size, but it should be enough to give you a better idea of why Carlos Beltran is perhaps the fastest rising star in major league baseball. Watching him in the first game of the Royals and Phillies series, you could already start to see a lot of his talents.

If Beltran were playing in New York or Los Angeles or even Philadelphia, dare I say it, he would be a bigger star than he is now. Let's face it, location matters. When you put up big numbers, they become even bigger in certain cities. Playing in Kansas City, Beltran hasn't gotten all of the attention that he deserves. Odds are that he won't be calling KC home for long though and his star is ready to shoot across the baseball sky.

At 27, Beltran has his whole career ahead of him. He also has high powered agent Scott Boras on his side, meaning that he will likely get a nice payday in the very near future. The Royals have tried to sign Beltran to a long term deal, but with the possible additions of endorsements and postseason successes dancing in their heads both Beltran and Boras didn't look too long at the Royals offers. Since it appears that Beltran would leave at the end of the season via free agency, the Royals are shopping him around to contending clubs. Had the Royals, who surprised a lot of fans last season, hung in close contention, Beltran might have stayed. Now, it appears that he will go to the highest bidder.

Would the Phillies get involved in trying to get Beltran? Odds are that they will ask. Odds are that they will quickly walk away only to look for the bargain tables at the baseball trade mall. The Royals are looking for a young second or third baseman, a young center fielder and pitching. With no real third base prospect coming along, the only shot for an infielder would be Chase Utley. Marlon Byrd is a young center fielder, but not what the Royal are figuring on. They want more of the can't miss variety, not the he's already pretty much missing prospect. Pitching, sure the Phillies have plenty of it, but do they want to part with it.

Cole Hamels recent arm problems would likely make other teams at least a little concerned about dealing for him, especially for the likes of Beltran. That means KC would likely ask for Gavin Floyd. That's a deal breaker. It was hard enough for Ed Wade to include Taylor Buchholz in the deal for Billy Wagner. Don't figure he'll give up Floyd or Hamels for that matter. It's likely that a package would have to look something like Utley, Floyd and perhaps, Jason Michaels to get Beltran. Of course, at the end of the year, Beltran could simply walk away as a free agent leaving the Phillies looking pretty foolish.

The Phillies do need to hope that neither the Marlins or Mets, both of whom have been rumored to be asking about Beltran, pick up Beltran. That would leave the Phillies to face Beltran a lot more this season and even more if either of those teams were to sign him long term.

Beltran at the top of the Phillies lineup is a dream. Beltran can hit for average and power, has excellent speed, great defensive abilities and a cannon for an arm. To say the least, he can do it all. He may be among the best two or three players in the American League, if not the majors. The fact that he's a switch-hitter only adds to the mystique of Carlos Beltran.

It will be interesting to watch where Beltran might land. Unfortunately, the Mets seem to be very interested. Don't be surprised to see other teams jump in. For now, the Dodgers, White Sox and Red Sox are all rumored to be in the hunt. Beltran would immediately make any of those teams a lot stronger and could be the player that would push them over the top.

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