Friday, July 15, 2011
Updated: July 16, 2:30 PM ET
Carlos Beltran: I want to stay a Met
By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltran says he wants to remain a New York Met for the rest of his career.
At the same time, Beltran, who is set to become a free agent at season's end, says he's "prepared for everything" as far as his future with the club is concerned.
"I've made it very clear to this organization that I want to finish my career here," Beltran said Friday. "But at the same time you understand that organizations have plans -- sometimes they're not plans you think of -- so like I said, I'm prepared for everything."
Beltran, 34, has been the subject of constant trade rumors and speculation since the 2011 season began. But he claims that if he had it his way, he'd stay with the Mets until his retirement.
"I feel like all the years I've played here, I feel like every single year we had a good team and the organization was willing to do everything possible to put teams together that could win championships," Beltran said. "Unfortunately, as a player, we didn't do it, we couldn't come through as a team. But I guess every single year we have a chance, as ballplayers we feel like we have a chance here."
Beltran says the Mets have been made aware of his desires, and he "has nothing to prove" to the organization.
"When I play the game, I don't play the game just to prove the organization anything," Beltran said. "I play because I know I can play the game, so it's their decision whether or not they want to keep me or they wanna trade me. Whatever decision they make, I will understand it."
Beltran, however, will have the ultimate say in wherever he lands because he has a no-trade clause in his contract. He says he's open to listening to proposals.
"If it makes sense for me, I will move forward," Beltran said.
Beltran has been dealt at the trading deadline before. In 2004, he was dealt by the Kansas City Royals to the Houston Astros in a blockbuster trade.
Beltran says that previous experience will make a potential trade a lot easier to handle.
"I think that when you go through that once, it gives you more experience and you understand how the game of baseball is," Beltran said. "There's always gonna be rumors. But at the same time, I have a job to do and that's helping the team win ballgames. There's been a lot of stuff about me going to different places, but right now, I'm a Met."
Recently, rumors had been floating around that the San Francisco Giants would make a run at Beltran.
Closer Brian Wilson made headlines Tuesday night with his comments praising Beltran.
"He's a pretty awesome hitter," Wilson said. "I have no qualms about it. Come on over. I don't want to be the guy that's traded, though. OK? Let's make sure that doesn't happen."
Beltran flew with the Giants' All-Stars to Phoenix, but says that Wilson didn't try to recruit him and he only spoke briefly with San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy.
"No. No. No. Honestly, I only said 'Hi' (to Brian) once in the All-Star Game," Beltran said. "Bochy came to the back of the plane and said 'Hi' and wanted to make sure we (Jose Reyes and myself) were fine. He was talking with (Mets public relations head) Jay Horowitz about his former days as a Met and who had the bigger head, him or Jay."
Beltran says he isn't worried about what the future holds, and isn't concerned with the Mets' cash-strapped financial situation.
"I haven't heard anything different than you guys," Beltran said. "I think you should ask (money questions) to the Wilpons or the owners. They're the ones that pay the money."
Beltran has enjoyed a resurgence this season. He was named to the National League All-Star team after batting .285 with 13 home runs, 58 RBIs and 28 doubles.
Beltran, who is healthy for the first time since 2008, thinks he can continue to produce for years to come.
"I still believe I can produce," Beltran said. "But when I feel that I can't produce anymore at this level, then I will go home (and retire) myself. Nobody will need to send me home, I'll go home myself.
"I don't know their plans. All I know is I'm having fun and enjoying my time here. I'm doing everything I can. I'm healthy and I want to play and I want to continue to play in the outfield because I enjoy it."
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.