JUPITER, Fla. – A playful conversation in the New York Mets’ clubhouse last summer will cost new St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran about $10,000.
When Beltran overheard Mets starter Jonathon Niese talking about getting a nose job, the then-Mets outfielder agreed to pay if he went through with it.
So Niese took him up on the offer and sent the bill to his former teammate.
The 25-year old left-hander told reporters: “Carlos and I were joking around about it, and he said he wanted me to get a new nose. Yeah, he’ll pay. I sent him the bill.”
Beltran was traded from the Mets to the San Francisco Giants last season. He then signed with the Cardinals as a free agent in the offseason.
“I did get the bill,” Beltran said upon arriving at the Cardinals’ spring training complex Thursday morning. “I’m going to wait and go there and give it to him personally when we play them (this spring). I haven’t seen him yet.”
Niese had the surgery last October and showed up to Mets camp earlier this week with a slightly straighter looking nose, but that wasn’t entirely the point. He’s now breathing easier after the procedure helped correct a deviated septum.
Beltran scoffed at the notion that he told Niese he needed a nose job, just that he was willing to pay for it if he got it.
“The only thing I did was offer my service to pay; that’s all I did,” Beltran said. “I didn’t tell him to do anything. I know people said I recommended nose surgery, but that was impossible that I would recommend a person to get nose surgery.
“They were talking in the clubhouse and somebody asked him, and he said that it wasn’t a priority for him to do it. And I said, ‘Well what about if I pay, would you do it?’ And he said, ‘Of course I would do it.’ So he ended up doing it, and I have to pay for it.”
Intrigued by the offer, Beltran said Niese found him later in the day to make sure he was being serious. He was.
“He came to me that day after the conversation and said, ‘Are you sure you are going to pay for it?'” Beltran said. “And I said, ‘Yeah, if you do it, I’ll pay for it.’ So I guess he was happy because he didn’t have to pay $10,000 for his nose. “
The bill likely won’t put much of a dent in Beltran’s bank account after he signed a two-year, $26 million deal with the Cardinals.
The Cardinals first play the Mets this spring on Tuesday, March 6, in Port St. Lucie.
Earlier this week, Niese told reporters at the Mets’ camp that the surgery helped him lost 10 pounds in the offseason because he is breathing normally.
“Working out just seems so much easier,” Niese
said. “The surgeon told me a normal nose should be like a doorway with the
door open a little bit. He explained it like it’s somebody ripped the hinges
off the door and smashed it sideways into the wall. He got it all fixed