Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Fine Print

Posted by JD on October 21, 2010

Eno Sarris offered a three-part analysis on how the Mets could learn from the mid-decade Phillies, which you can find here, here and here (give it a read: even if you don’t agree with the comparison, it’s an interesting look at how a franchise can change course in a relatively short time). Without stealing his thunder, he mentions in passing trading Carlos Beltran during the season if he re-establishes his value. I agree with the strategy (as I said here) for the reasons that Sarris mentions, and for one additional factor: the Mets cannot offer Beltran arbitration.

Under the current CBA, a player who files for free agency may chose to accept arbitration if his team offers it to him. If it is offered and the player declines, the team may be entitled to compensation in the form of draft picks (if the player qualifies as a Type A or Type B free agent). Thus, teams who elect to simply let their players’ contracts expire can receive some compensation which, given the cost-effective nature of young players these days, can potentially exceed the value of the departing player.

This option is not available to the Mets because Scott Boras negotiated a clause into Beltran’s contract (scroll down) in which the Mets agreed not to offer Beltran arbitration at the end of his contract. So, Sarris’ comment about trading Beltran in mid-season isn’t just a good strategy for the Mets, it’s the only practical strategy available to them given his current, decreased trade value. Just another gift from Omar Minaya, king of the contractual clauses.

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