Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Told You the Beltran Contract Was a Good One

One of the most childish and yet fun things to do in life is to yell: "I told you so!" Well, this writer did tell you back in February of this year that all that criticism of Carlos Beltran's contract with the Mets was mislabeled as a bust. After Beltran's injury-plagued season of a year ago, Beltran was derided as the worst signing ever for the Mets. Beltran was on many people's lists as one of the worst signings ever. All the while, this writer scratched his head and said, "Whuh?" And so this writer then set out in that February post to prove that if Beltran could have just a decent season this season, he would earn every dollar of his contract. Here we are half way through the season and let's see how that looks now.

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 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?

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