Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that Carlos Beltran is “furious with the Mets” for how they’ve handled his knee surgery publicly and may let that impact his return timetable:
He wonders if he should have been playing last year (in other words, was he properly diagnosed?). More important, he pushed to initially play in pain and then rush back in a lost season.
The Mets probably should not expect Beltran to prioritize the team this time around. He turns 33 in April. His contract walk year is 2011. So I expect that Beltran will take care of No. 1 and make sure he does not do anything to hurt himself for a 2011 salary-drive season.
Of course, making sure he’s completely healthy following surgery before jumping back into the lineup is probably a good thing, so the notion that Beltran is hurting the team by not rushing back from a major injury seems kind of strange. After all the Mets went through last season, the last thing they should want is a star player going through something less than a full rehab and/or playing at less than full strength.
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.