The Giants have acquired outfielder Carlos Beltran from the New York Mets, with the star slugger headed to join San Francisco after agreeing to the trade late Wednesday night.
The switch-hitting All-Star was dealt for top pitching prospect Zach Wheeler, who is 7-5 with a 3.99 ERA in 16 starts at Class-A San Jose. The Mets will send some cash to the Giants in the deal, which was expected to be announced Thursday morning.
Shortly before the Mets’ 8-2 win in Cincinnati on Wednesday night, Beltran arrived in the clubhouse and told teammates he was on his way to join the World Series champions in Philadelphia.
”He came over and shook everybody’s hands and said thank you,” Mets outfielder Angel Pagan told The Associated Press. ”We were very happy for him. He’s going to be with a team that’s a contender.”
Beltran leads the National League with 30 doubles and is batting .289 with 15 homers and 66 RBI. The Giants, hitting only .241 and in dire need of a power bat, with only 66 homers as a team, likely will use Beltran in center and left. Right fielder Nate Schierholtz has been perhaps their second-best player this season after third baseman Pablo Sandoval.
The defending World Series champion Giants entered Wednesday with a three-game lead in the National League West, and the organization wanted to make a big move to sustain its recent run of success.
The Braves, Rangers and Phillies were among the teams that pursued Beltran in recent weeks but fell short. Atlanta wasn’t willing to meet the Mets’ asking price of pitching prospect Mike Minor. Sources say Atlanta did not intensify its pursuit of Beltran after their All-Star catcher, Brian McCann, suffered an oblique injury on Tuesday night.