Carlos Beltran has signed off on the move to San Francisco, so the trade sending him from the Mets to the Giants for pitching prospect Zack Wheeler is now official. There’s a press release and everything.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson gave Beltran a proper sendoff, saying:
We thank Carlos for all he has done for this organization–both on and off the field–and wish him well. It has been a pleasure for me personally to know and be able to work with Carlos. He has been the consummate professional.
Beltran is expected to be the Giants’ starting right fielder, with the Mets paying about $4 million of the $6 million remaining on his contract, choosing a consensus top-50 prospect in Wheeler over multiple lesser prospects or salary relief in what is a very shrewd move for Alderson given the circumstances.
Wheeler is a very high price to pay for two months of Beltran, but the switch-hitter will provide a huge boost to the Giants’ struggling lineup after hitting .289 with 15 homers, a league-leading 30 doubles, and a .904 OPS in 98 games for the Mets. Not only does San Francisco rank second-worst in the league in runs overall, since Buster Posey’s ankle injury on May 25 the Giants have hit just .236 with an average of 3.5 runs per game.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.