Friday, July 22, 2011

The Carlos Beltran For Mike Minor Rumor

Rumor has it the Braves could possibly be the frontrunners for Carlos Beltran. A lot of this could be speculation based on the fact that Atlanta has the best prospects available out of those interested in the outfielder, including the Giants, Phillies, Brewers and Red Sox. It's nice to have a loaded farm system for such things. It's nice to have a loaded farm system, period.

The rumor for Friday is Beltran for Mike Minor. As is the case with any deadline deals for rental players, the No. 1 debate is how much Beltran should be worth for two months and hopefully the playoffs.

Beltran has been worth 3.9 fWAR in 93 games and 395 plate appearances, posting a .290/.387/.524 line with a .394 wOBA and .234 ISO. His 13.4 BB% is three points higher than his career average. Pretty much every number Beltran has would rank first on the Braves aside from batting average. So yes, the Braves would do well to add him to the lineup alongside the improving bats of Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla.

By all accounts, Beltran has fared well as a corner outfielder this season, and asking for two months in center field isn't a deal breaker. Plus, any loss on defense is made up by the huge upgrade on offense. Current Braves center fielders have hit .239/.321/.330 with four home runs. Quite a difference.

But is it worth an arm as good as Mike Minor's? Minor is 23 this year, and while he has yet to establish himself in the majors, he has proven himself in the minors and is ready for a permanent shot in a rotation. He has the ceiling of a No. 2-3 starter and could be quite valuable as a young left-hander if he sticks.

While the Braves are loaded with pitching prospects, this shouldn't change the value of them and what they should receive in return for them. I've never been one to go along with trading prospects for rentals at the deadline. For one, players on the deadline market are constantly overvalued. Two, unless the player traded for leads the team to a deep playoff run, it's common sense that several years of a solid young player are worth more than a couple months from a rental. But that's the chance a team takes in making a deal like this. It's necessary in order to make a push for the World Series.

Two months of Beltran isn't worth Minor's ceiling, but when put into the current situation, it's acceptable, yet not desired. Enter Bobby Parnell, the right-handed reliever with a 2.93 ERA and 2.78 xFIP with a 27.9 K% in 27.2 innings. The Braves need a right-handed reliever just as bad as an outfielder, if not more, and Parnell would plug the hole very well.

If it's Beltran for Minor, I would accept it reluctantly. Add Parnell and it's a solid deal for both sides.

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