Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Saltzman Says...Beltran for Wheeler

Carlos Beltran is a Giant

Beltran for Giants top prospect Zach Wheeler is certainly a risk.  Beltran, who is both injury prone and a pending free agent this off-season, could be a two month rental.  Wheeler, who is pitching in High-A San Jose this season, could be a #1 or #2 starting pitcher in a year or two.

With that said, the 2011 season called for the Giants to make this move.  If Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez were healthy, the Giants don't offer Zach Wheeler to anyone.  With the offense playing the way they have all season, the Giants were not going to go into the post-season with the lineup as is. 

Beltran will be a free agent, but if he hits well at AT&T Park, it is possible to bring back the slugging switch hitter after the season.  Cody Ross, Andres Torres, Nate Schierholtz, Aaron Rowand and Pat Burrell have all under performed this year.  Schierholtz and Ross are the most likely to return next year, and Torres may still be a better hitting option than speedster Darren Ford.  More importantly, a middle of the order of Beltran, Posey and Sandoval next year will be a much better Opening Day lineup.

Zach Wheeler, who is by far the Giants #1 pitching prospect, should need at least a full year in Double-A before any promotion to the big leagues.  If the Mets rush him, he might crumble in the mass media of New York.  If they are patient and let him pitch in the minors, he could be one of their top starting pitchers by 2013.

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