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.
On Monday we passed along a report that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are negotiating over an international draft. That report — from ESPN’s Buster Olney — cited competitive balance and the well-being of international free agents as the reasons why they’re pushing for the draft.
We have long doubted those stated motivations and said so again in our post on Monday. But we’re just armchair skeptics when it comes to this. Ben Badler of Baseball America is an expert. Perhaps the foremost expert on international baseball, international signings and the like. Today he writes about a would-be international draft and he tears MLB, the MLBPA and their surrogates in the media to shreds with respect to their talking points.
Of course Badler is a nice guy so “tearing to shreds” is probably putting it too harshly. Maybe it’s better to say that he systematically dismantles the stated rationale for the international draft and makes plan what’s really going on: MLB is looking to save money and the players are looking to sell out non-union members to further their own bargaining position:
Major League Baseball has long wanted an international draft. The driving force behind implementing an international draft is for owners to control their labor costs by paying less money to international amateur players, allowing owners to keep more of that money . . . the players’ association doesn’t care about international amateur players as anything more than a bargaining chip. It’s nothing discriminatory against foreign players, it’s just that the union looks out for players on 40-man rosters. So international players, draft picks in the United States and minor leaguers who make less than $10,000 in annual salary get their rights sold out by the union, which in exchange can negotiate items like a higher major league minimum salary, adjustments to the Super 2 rules or modifying draft pick compensation attached to free agent signings.
Badler then walks through the process of how players are discovered, scouted and signed in Latin America and explains, quite convincingly, how MLB’s international draft and, indeed, its fundamental approach to amateurs in Latin America is lacking.
Read this. Then, every time a U.S.-based writer with MLB sources talks about the international draft, ask whether they know something Ben Badler doesn’t or, alternatively, whether they’re carrying water for either the league or the union.
I don’t know why Bill Murray is in Washington today. I don’t know why he’s at the White House. But I do know that he was there in Chicago Cubs gear, standing at the lectern in the press briefing room, voicing his full confidence in the Cubs prevailing in the NLCS, despite the fact that Clayton Kershaw is going for the Dodgers tomorrow night.
“Too many sticks,” president Murray said of the Cubs lineup. And something about better trees in Illinois.
Four. More. Years.