Fighting over medical decisions is not new for Beltran

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In light of the heavy criticism the Mets medical staff received last year, it’s tempting to blame the current dustup over Carlos Beltran’s knee surgery on the team and to cast Beltran as the good guy. That’s certainly the prevailing thinking in the blogosphere this morning.

Now, we obviously don’t know everything that has happened here, but maybe, just maybe, the Mets are entitled to some benefit of the doubt.  Why? Because this is not the first time Beltran has gone rogue on his team’s medical staff:

The players’ association filed a grievance Friday to block the Kansas City Royals’ suspension of AL Rookie of the Year Carlos Beltran.

Beltran was suspended without pay Thursday for refusing to report to
the team’s Florida training complex for rehabilitation. The Royals said
the suspension would last for 30 days or until he reports, whichever is
shorter.

Granted, that was when Beltran was with the Royals, and the Royals’ medical staff has taken just
as much heat as the Mets
, so I suppose we still can’t know for sure.

Still, I don’t know of any other player that has had two high-profile disputes with his team over medical treatment, so we can’t really eliminate the possibility that it’s Beltran, and not the Mets, that is the problem here.

The Marlins made an empty threat. Giancarlo Stanton made an empty promise.

Associated Press
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I covered the main press conference about Giancarlo Stanton earlier, but afterward he and his agents fanned out to various TV shows, radio shows and reporter scrums from which some new, fun things have spun out. Part of what they’ve talked about is silly and meaningless, part of it just meaningless.

Here’s the silly and meaningless, from a Marlins official, apparently, trying to bully Stanton into accepting either the Giants or the Cardinals trades despite the fact that he told them beforehand that he was not willing to go to either of those teams:

This is silly because it comes off like a threat. Like the worst possible thing that can happen to a guy is to stay with the very team that is making the threat. It’s like telling your wife that if she does not leave you, she’s stuck with you forever.

It’s meaningless too, in that Stanton has an opt-out clause after 2020. If the Marlins could not make a trade Stanton would approve, he’d simply collect close to $90 million and then leave at age 30. Oooh, don’t throw me into that briar patch, Mr. Jeter!

Not that Stanton’s people are offering statements of serious gravitas. His agent was asked about Stanton’s opt-out rights, which he retains even though he’s now with the Yankees:

That may very well be true! He just got here and everything is going great so far. It’s totally empty, of course, because anything can happen between now and the fall of 2020. If the big time free agents of the next two years sign for the sort of money that makes Stanton look underpaid, he’ll certainly opt-out, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees. Ask Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia how that works. The opt-out clause is pure, unadulterated leverage for a player and unless he totally craters over the next three seasons he’ll most certainly use it, regardless of present desires.

Which, hey, that’s how things work when a big trade or free agent signing happens. Everyone who has lost looks bad and everyone who won sounds happy. Then, later, the baseball happens.