MLB Trade Rumors: Should the Giants Target Carlos Beltran?

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 12: National League All-Star Carlos Beltran #15 of the New York Mets hits an infield single in the fourth inning of the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

There have been several reports linking the Giants to Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran recently, and the latest was from Giants closer Brian Wilson who came out and stated after saving the All Star game for the National League "I guess were in talks with them about Beltran". Add to the fact that Beltran flew to Phoenix with the Giants, and there appears to be plenty of interest on both sides.

Beltran is having an injury-free season in 2011, hitting .285-.377.-.503 with 13 HRs, 58 RBIs and 53 runs scored. His K rate is right around his career norms, and he is walking more this season-12.5% vs career BB rate of 10.7%. In addition to the 13 HRs, Beltran has hit 28 doubles, and is on pace to break his career high of 44 doubles set way back in 2002.

His batted ball slash line of .20/.35/.45 is above his career average of .19/.42/.38, and shows he is hitting more fly balls and less ground balls than normal. His .218 ISO is his best showing since 2008 where his ISO was .216, and his .311 BABIP is his highest since his .318 BABIP in 2003 (i overlooked his .352 BABIP in 2009 since he did not play a full season).

More on Beltran to the Giants after the jump:

Foxsports Ken Rosenthal reported yesterday that the Giants have the payroll flexibility to add "a middle-of-the-order hitter" this season, and Chris Haft from MLB.com reported that "the need to look for offense is obvious". Looking deeper at the Giants outfield production, the need becomes even more clear. Here is what the Giants have received from their outfielders this season:

Nate Schierholtz: .293-.343-.464, 7 HRs, 35 RBIs, 33 runs, 5 SBs

Andres Torres: .226-.321-.361 with 3 HRs, 14 RBIs, 32 runs and 9 SBs

Aaron Rowand: 2.42-.295-.347 with 2 HRs, 17 RBIs, 28 runs and 2 SBs

Cody Ross: .275-.361-.428 with 6 HRs, 25 RBIs, 27 runs and 4 SBs

Pat Burrell: .234-.343-.421 with 7 HRs, 21 RBIs and 17 runs

Beltran would look pretty good in the Giants outfield and in the middle of the Giants order. Couple this with the fact that Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff is also having a down year, and the Giants need becomes more pronounced.

The Giants are built to win now and are currently in first place in the NL West, so targeting Beltran makes all the sense in the world. Beltran comes with injury risk, but he has shown no signs of injury this season. A package headed by top outfield prospect Gary Brown should get the talks started on the Mets end of the phone, as the Mets are in a bit of rebuild right now. Brown could cover plenty of ground in the Mets outfield and replace Jose Reyes as the Mets leadoff hitter in a few years should Reyes leave via free agency.

Should the Mets deal Beltran, I see Lucas Duda taking over in right field and can provide a power bat for fantasy owners in NL-only leagues. He is not rosterable in mixed leagues.

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