Suddenly Carlos Beltran is Mr. Team Player.
Beltran sacrificed his precious position in center field, giving it to Angel Pagan, who did a solid job in the position in 2010, when Beltran was hurt with a knee injury.
According to a report from the New York Daily News, Beltran consulted his family, friends, as well as his agent Scott Boras, before heading to new manager Terry Collins to tell him that he is willing to play center field.
Collins commended him as a "team player," but you have to wonder what Beltran might be really thinking. Beltran is entering the final year of a bumpy seven year contract with the Mets. With the team heading virtually nowhere in the near and long term future, Beltran is probably thinking about his next contract.
With Boras in his ear, perhaps Beltran's thought is if he has a big year in right field it will increase his stock for a new contract next winter.
Pagan for his part is a decent player. He hit .290 with 11 homers and 69 RBI. He proved to be a spark plug for a Mets team that was dead man walking for all of 2010. Is he is a better center fielder than Beltran is the remaining question. There will be a lot of scrutinity on how these two player at these positions.
Beltran's skills in center field are not what they once were, when he was a gold glover. Now he will play right field where the deepest part of Citi Field stands at 418 feet from home plate, where the wall juts in and out. Can he handle right field?
Is it a worthy team oriented move by Beltran? On the surface yes, but in the end it's all about money.