Mets threaten action after Beltran opts for surgery

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beltran_100113.jpgAs if the Mets haven’t had enough bad news to deal with in the past year, star center fielder Carlos Beltran underwent surgery on his right knee on Wednesday and will miss the start of the season.

In addition to Beltran missing time, the Mets are apparently rankled that he used his personal physician for the procedure, and did not give their “blessing,” according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

And for now, the Mets and one of their key players are clearly in conflict. A person familiar with the situation told the Post that the Commissioner’s Office and the Players Association have been alerted that “the Mets are claiming this was done without clearance and that the Mets are threatening to take some form of action. There is a potential issue out there.”

It’s unclear what action, if any, the Mets could take, and Sherman theorizes that it’s unlikely the team could do anything given that (a) Beltran has kept them in the loop all along, and (b) the doctor Beltran is using has a sterling reputation.

Beltran’s agent Scott Boras told the AP that the language in the player’s contract only requires the team be given written permission for elective operations.

“This was necessary surgery, necessary surgery to work,” Boras told The Associated Press.

The Mets might claim that the operation was elective.

Regardless of what happens, this is terrible news for the Mets as they try to recover from a nightmare 2009 season.

They had a rash of injuries last season, finishing fourth in the NL East at 70-92 after entering the season with expectations of challenging the Philadelphia Phillies for the division crown. Beltran was one of the players to miss time in 2009, sitting out 2  1/2 months with a bone bruise on his knee. He hit .325 with a .415 on-base percentage in just 81 games.

Now he has more problems with his knee and the team is angry. What else could go wrong?

Coco Crisp traded to the Indians for a minor league reliever

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 27:  Coco Crisp #4 of the Oakland Athletics rounds third base to score against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the seventh inning at AT&T Park on June 27, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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UPDATE: (11:36 AM EDT, Wednesday): The deal has been announced by both clubs. The A’s will be receiving left-handed pitcher Colt Hynes. Hynes is 31. He’s pitches seven games in the big leagues and has spent ten years in the minors with a 3.62 ERA in 456 games, almost all in relief.

Update (7:49 AM EDT, Wednesday): Susan Slusser hears word that, yes, the deal is official.

Update (7:20 PM EDT): John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reports that Crisp has indeed been traded, but there won’t be an official announcement until Wednesday. Crisp has already left the Athletics’ clubhouse.

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Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Athletics and Indians are making progress on a trade that would send outfielder Coco Crisp to Cleveland. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports confirms Adams’ report. Crisp, who has 10-and-5 rights, has waived them in order to facilitate a deal.

Crisp, 36, is owed the remainder of his $11 million salary for the 2016 season and has a $13 million option for the 2017 season that vests if he reaches 550 plate appearances or plays in 130 games this season. He has already played in 102 games and logged 434 PA, batting .234/.299/.399 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI.

The Indians are still looking to bolster the outfield. Michael Brantley is expected to miss the rest of the season, Bradley Zimmer may not yet be ready for the majors, and Abraham Almonte is not eligible to play in the postseason after testing positive for boldenone in February.

Wow! Zach McAllister kicks a line drive into the air, catches it

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I met some guy on a hike a couple of months ago who used to be married to a close friend or a cousin or something of Indians pitcher Zach McAllister. I forget the details but it was some tenuous relationship like that. No different than a lot of brush-with-fame stories you get from Triple-A towns like Columbus, where McAllister spent some time.

Anyway, the guy met McAllister a couple of times. They didn’t really talk about much but the guy said he remembers McAllister talking about just how hard baseball was. In terms of the skills required and the mastery of it even if you are blessed with those skills. And, of course, the mental strain of it all when you’re at that place, as McAllister was at the time, when your career can either be made or broken by what the big club thinks of you. He was 22 or 23 then, and if he hadn’t been called up soon, he might’ve gone from prospect to organizational guy and that’s a lot of money left on the table.

Anyway, the point of it all was that this guy I was hiking with — not a big baseball fan — was super impressed with McAllister and said he hadn’t thought about just how hard professional sports were to even the guys who are insanely gifted at playing professional sports. I don’t think most of us think about that as much as we probably should.

Then again, sometimes players make it look easy. Like McAllister did last night when he threw a pitch to Kurt Suzuki, kicked the line drive that was hit back to him into the air and caught it on the fly: