Buried beneath the season that Jose Reyes is having is the nice comeback season for Carlos Beltran. After speculation earlier in Sping Training that Beltran would have trouble getting his knee in playing shape, Beltran has played nearly every day for the Mets and is having a nice season. That, of course, makes this Fan look even smarter for that February post. So here, once again, are the numbers:
This is the final year of Beltran's contract. In total, the Mets will have paid him $119 million over the last seven years. In those seven years, he has been valued by Fangraphs.com the following:
- 2005: $9.1 million
- 2006: $29.1 million
- 2007: $22.5 million
- 2008: $34.3 million
- 2009: $13.5 million
- 2010: $3.2 million
- 2011: $11.3 million
If you add all that up, you get $123 million. So Carlos Beltran could stop playing right now and would have earned his contract. Sure, you'd like to make your contracts so that they make you money. But how many long term contracts actually work out for the teams that made them? That's right, very few. This isn't one of them.
Beltran has a 138 OPS+ currently for 2011. He has eleven homers and 53 runs batted in. He's also added 21 doubles. His slash line of .281/.373/.489 are remarkably close to his career numbers. His wOBA is three points higher than his career average in that statistic. His walk percentage is higher than his career average and his strikeout percentage is currently below his career norm. All the while, he is playing positively in right field after being a center fielder his entire career. Beltran seems poised to have another season valued above $20 million if he keeps up this pace.
Carlos Beltran was one of the best center fielders of this generation. Because he missed large chunks of the last two seasons, he became one of the symbols of the Mets' mistakes. Except that he wasn't a mistake. So the next time you hear that Carlos Beltran was a bad signing by the New York Mets, politely disagree and send that person this way. Deal?