Report: Carlos Beltran going to the Giants

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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.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

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In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.