Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The date was July 10th. It was probably sometime around 10 or 10:30pm when they started to board the flight to Sky Harbor. Timmy and Cainer were there. So was Boch and Kung Fu. Ron Wotus and the Flan Man, Righetti and B-Weez. Somewhere towards the back, Ryan Vogelsong was pinching himself, in disbelief of what he was experiencing.
It was a charter flight to Phoenix full of Giants all-stars-- both coaches and players, incredible in its own right.
The only oddity were two guys who belonged in Phoenix for the all-star festivities, but didn't really belong on that particular flight.
One was Jose Reyes, the other was Carlos Beltran.
I'm sure there were plenty of jokes thrown around on that joyous flight. Torres and Beltran were probably talking about Puerto Rico, Pablo, I'm sure, was yukking it up with Reyes, being the goofball that he is. It honestly is a flight I wish I was on. Sounds like a pretty epic scene.
Somewhere though, a bespectacled Brian Sabean was staring a hole through the back of Beltran's seat. If he could have eye-effed the hell out of him, he would have. Like a bar sleaze eyeing his prey, he thought, "I want you, and I'm gonna get you."
Sabean has made some ballsy moves in his day... trading Matt Williams probably being his most brassy balls move. This one is up there though.
The Giants certainly needed something-- someone-- to improve this struggling first place lineup. Yes that's right, a first place, defending World Champ lineup that needs an infusion of energy like a crankhead needs to buy Sudafed from a Tennessee Walgreens to trade to a dealer for a hit of ice.
Is Beltran the answer? Ehh... he's not a savior. He's an all-star hitter, a decent outfielder, and immediately improves an anemic offense. However, he's not a prototypical thumper. On most teams, he'd be a #2 power threat. With the Giants though, he's immediately the best hitter on the team, and it couldn't have come soon enough.
This Beltran deal is either brilliant, or will go down in Giants lore as being a real waste of prospect pitching. Zach Wheeler projects pretty well in the Bigs, and it is difficult to let him go. In addition, Beltran's contract stipulates that he cannot be offered arbitration after his contract expires-- meaning of course that when he leaves after this season, the Giants will receive no compensatory draft picks. He's a Type-A free agent that will net them nothing. They do not pass Go and do not collect $200--- I mean a Sandwich Pick.
This deal is riding solely on Carlos Beltran's shoulders, and Sabean has his fingers crossed that Beltran repeats his 2004 magic he displayed in Houston after being traded mid-season from Kansas City.
The Astros rented Beltran too, and he was worth it. In 90 games, he hit 23HR and drove in 53 with an OPS of .926.
That of course, was the peak of Beltran's solid career-- a contract year-- one that he parlayed into ungodly amounts of cash from the Mets.
Beltran is on the downslope of his career. He's still a great hitter, but is injury-prone and slower than he used to be. Regardless, he will help us exponentially.
The Giants lineup is unpredictable, but I'm assuming that Schierholtz and Torres will be affected the most by Beltran's arrival. I have no idea what they'll do with all this.
I do know that Andres Torres can't hit a lick right handed though. In case this has escaped you, he's hitting .121 against lefties, and I'm at the point where I think he should pull a JT Snow and only hit left handed.
Beltran's arrival means that against a righty, Torres should play CF with Ross in LF and Beltran in RF. Against a lefty, I see Schierholtz, a career .326 hitter against southpaws, playing RF with Ross and Beltran taking up the other two spots.
It is a shame that Schierholtz will lose time because he's been one of our only decent hitters in the last couple months, but he will still be able to contribute.
It's a bold move and a bold statement by trading for Beltran, but if he hits like he's capable of hitting, I don't see why we can't win it all again.