UPDATE III: The AP reports that the deal has been agreed to, pending Beltran signing off on it. Assuming that Beltran gives his approval, it will become offical Thursday afternoon. The Mets will send Beltran and $4 million to help cover his salary to the Giants in return for Wheeler.
UPDATE II: Now it’s being reported that it’s just Zack Wheeler heading to New York — maybe with some lesser prospects — but not Gary Brown.
Not that Mets fans can or should complain at all. Wheeler is only 21 and he’s already one of the top pitching prospects in the game. Since being drafted in the first round in 2009, he has an ERA of 3.99 and 168 strikeouts in 146 and two-thirds innings.
UPDATE: Whoa, this could be a better deal for the Mets than anyone thought. With center fielder Gary Brown as the centerpiece it’s a fine enough deal, but Buster Olney just said that the Giants are also going to include Zack Wheeler, the Giants’ top pitching prospect.
If it’s just Wheeler, that makes it an even better deal than just Brown. If it’s Wheeler AND Brown, mercy, Sandy Alderson has committed highway robbery, especially given how little leverage he had by virtue of Beltran’s no-trade clause.
1:23 PM: It’s not done yet, but Jon Heyman is reporting that the Giants are “in position” to land Carlos Beltran, and Tim Brown of Yahoo! says that says that there is a “good likelihood” of Beltran going to San Francisco. Joel Sherman quotes an executive of a team that fell out of the bidding for Beltran saying “”He is as close to being a Giant as you can be.”
Obviously the talent they have to give up will determine whether this is a good deal — we’ve heard names ranging from Zack Wheeler to Gary Brown to Francisco Peguero to Charlie Culberson mentioned — but getting Beltran makes oodles of sense for the offensively-challenged Giants. For what it’s worth, Jon Paul Morosi is reporting that the Giants are going to include the center fielder Brown, which would be super appealing to the Mets.
Updates as they happen, but everyone seems to think it’s happening today.
Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:
The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.
The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.
I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.
In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.
The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.
The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.
Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.