The trade of Carlos Beltran from the New York Mets to the San Francisco Giants for minor league pitcher Zach Wheeler shows in spades how the two baseball clubs think of their fans. The Giants are telling their fans that they care, and that they are trying to win another World Series. The Mets are signaling to their fans that they could care less about them, and the team is more interested in saving money than they are about winning.
Carlos Beltran Best Hitter Available at Trading Deadline, Having Great 2011
In the 2011 baseball season, Carlos Beltran is hitting .289, has a slugging percentage of .513 and on on-base percentage of .391, while he has 15 home runs, leads the NL with 30 doubles, has 66 RBI’s and 61 runs scored in 353 at-bats. That’s an excellent season, especially considering Beltran was playing half his games in a terrible hitters park in Citi Field.
In no small part due to Beltran’s great play, the New York Mets are ninth in runs scored in baseball, and are 53-51, two games over .500 and in contention for a wild card playoff spot.
New York Mets Just Trying to Save Money
So what do the New York Mets do? They trade off Carlos Beltran to save $2.5 million dollars. The Mets are paying $4 million of the $6.5 million left on Beltran’s contract this season. Sure, Beltran is a free-agent after this season, but the Mets just told their fans to go ahead and write-off the rest of the 2011 season.
The player the Mets got back in the trade, minor league pitcher Zach Wheeler, is not projected to play in the majors until 2014. Wheeler, who was selected with the 6th overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, has turned out to be a marginal prospect at best. More on that in a minute.
San Francisco Giants Trying to Win Another World Series for Fans
The San Francisco Giants, on the other hand, just signaled to their fans that they really care and are trying to win another World Series in 2011. The Giants are currently 60-44, and sit atop the NL West standings by 3 games. But the Giants have scored just 373 runs in 2011, which is the third worst total in the major leagues this season.
So what did Giants management do? They traded a former first round draft pick, who has already shown he will never be Tim Lincecum, to acquire the best hitter available near the trading deadline in Carlos Beltran.
Why Zach Wheeler is a Marginal Prospect at Best
The Giants took Zach Wheeler with the 6th overall pick in the 2009 Amateur Baseball Draft. Wheeler is in his second season in the minor leagues in 2011, and has already shown he is not going to be the next Tim Lincecum or Madison Bumgarner.
Wheeler Will Never Be Tim Lincecum or Madison Bumgarner
The Giants took Lincecum with the 10th overall pick in 2006, and Madison Bumgarner with the 10th overall pick in 2007. Both players are currently pitching for the Giants, and are big reasons why the team won the World Series in 2010.
Lincecum was 22 years old when he pitched in the minors for the Giants. In A ball, he struck out 58 batters in 31.2 innings and pitched to a 1.71 ERA. The nest season he pitched lights out at AAA in 5 starts, and was quickly promoted to the majors, where he started 24 games.
Madison Bumgarner was 18 years old when he started pitching in the minors for the Giants. He went 15-3, with a 1.46 ERA, and struck out 164 batters in 141.2 innings. The next season Bumgarner went 12-2 overall in the minors, and made his major league debut, pitching in four games at age 19. Last season, Bumgarner pitched in the majors for the Giants and went 7-6 with a 3.00 ERA, and then he won a playoff game vs the Atlanta Braves, and a World Series game vs the Texas Rangers.
Zach Wheeler pitched to a 3.99 ERA in A ball last season. He did strikeout 70 batters in 58.2 innings, but he also walked 38 batters. The Giants thought so much of his performance that they kept him in A ball this season, and so far he has pitched to a 3.99 ERA, and has 98 strikeouts and 47 walks in 88 innings pitched. So Zach Wheeler has not really progressed at all in his second year as a pro, and he is already 21 years old.
While Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner were pitching to below 2.00 ERA’s in the minors, and striking out a greater percentage of hitters, and making rapid progress to the major leagues, Zach Wheeler is stuck in A ball. Zach Wheeler has shown that he is a marginal prospect so far in his career. I think he will make the majors, but probably as a reliever, and he will never be as good as Lincecum or Bumgarner.
Giants Gave Up a Marginal Prospect to Win This Year
So the San Francisco Giants Giants gave up a marginal pitching prospect to rent the best available hitter in baseball at the trading deadline, to try and win another World Series. The New York Mets, while in contention for a playoff spot, traded away their second best offensive player for a marginal pitching prospect to save $2.5 million dollars.
New York Mets Do Not Care About Their Fans
The San Francisco Giants care about their fans, and are trying to win for them. The New York Mets couldn’t care less about their fans, and are just trying to save a few million dollars in 2011.
For more see New York Mets Owners Gained Unfair Advantage from Bernie Madoff