Other than some final paperwork and physicals, Carlos Beltran will be a San Francisco Giant. After months of speculation, the Mets pulled the trigger and dealt Beltran, likely getting Giants pitching prospect Zach Wheeler in return.
Mets fans seem to have a love/hate relationship with Beltran. There are those who will remember him for his big numbers, athleticism manning center field and the fact that was the most productive player in late 2007 and 2008 when the team choked away playoff appearances. The haters will always, ALWAYS remember the final strike of the 2006 NLCS, where he stood frozen as Adam Wainwright poured in a curveball over the plate to end the Mets’ season. They’ll also think of the injuries and the clunker of a first season he had in New York in 2005.
Here’s a year-by-year look at Beltran’s time in the Big Apple, which has now apparently come to an end.
2005 – First Year Failure
Beltran signed a huge deal (seven years, $119 million) in the offseason before 2005, cashing in on not only his play in Kansas City but also his off-the-charts 2004 postseason for the Astros. His first year in New York was a dud. He hit just 16 home runs, drove in 78 runs and batted .266. He made the All-Star game somehow.
2006 – Getting Their Money’s Worth…Until…
Beltran bounced back in a major way in 2006. In 140 games he hit 41 home runs, had 116 RBI and 127 runs scored. He finished fourth in the NL MVP voting and helped lead the Mets to a runaway NL East crown. But the regular season and his mostly good postseason were only a footnote. The indelible image of 2006 is the last one, when Carlos Beltran took the final strike in Game Seven of the NLCS, with the Mets trying to rally their way to the World Series.
2007 – Don’t Blame Beltran
As much as the end of 2006 stung, 2007 may have been even tougher for Mets fans. The team blew a seven-game division lead with 17 to play, not only failing to win the division, but missing the playoffs all together. During the painful September for New York, Beltran was a lone bright spot. He hit eight home runs and hit .282 in September/October. Overall he had 33 home runs, 112 RBI and 93 runs scored.
2008 – Again, Don’t Blame Beltran
2008 was another strong year for Beltran. He hit 27 home runs, had 112 RBI and 116 runs scored. He also had his Mets career best of 25 steals, and his best batting average as a Met up to that point, finishing at .284. The Mets didn’t exactly gag like they did in 2007, but were in good position to grab at least a Wild Card before struggling late. Beltran was again very good in the late going, batting .344 with six homers in September/October.
2009 – Injuries Hit
Beltran’s health was not a major concern up to this point but a knee injury knocked him out of action having played just 81 games in 2009. While the power was down a bit, he was still having a nice year. He hit 10 home runs, batted .325, had 48 RBI and 11 steals. Beltran was joined on the DL by a bunch of other Mets, leading to dismal year for New York.
2010 – Offseason Surgery And Not Much of Impact Upon Return
Beltran had knee surgery before the 2010 season, apparently against the Mets’ wishes. As a result, Beltran didn’t play a game with the Mets until after the All-Star break. He never got on track, hitting just .255 with seven home runs in 64 games. He was also very careful with his baserunning, stealing just three.
2011 – Beltran Comes Back Strong, Then Says Goodbye
To the surprise of many Mets fans Carlos Beltran has remained healthy for all of 2011. He bounced back from the injuries and struggles of 2010 and is hitting .289 with 15 home runs, 66 RBI and has a league-leading 30 doubles in 98 games. The only part of his game that has not come back is his speed; he has just three steals all season. With the 34-year-old Beltran a free agent after the season and the Mets’ chances of getting to the playoffs remote, they decided to trade him after nearly-season long speculation. Beltran was an All-Star and along with Jose Reyes has led a Mets offense that’s been much better than expected considering the injuries it has sustained. On July 27th it was reported that Beltran had been traded to the Giants, thus ending his nearly seven-year stint with the Mets.