Giants land Beltran

Earlier this month during Major League Baseball’s annual midsummer classic in Arizona, Carlos Beltran sat side-by-side with National League and San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, chatting about what the slugger’s role in the All-Star Game would entail.

Now, the relationship between Beltran and Bochy is dashing in a straight line toward October.

According to MLB.com, the New York Mets have dealt Beltran and a wad of cash to the Giants in exchange for right-handed pitcher Zack Wheeler Thursday.

“This is just a situation that everyone has anticipated, whether we liked it or not,” Mets skipper Terry Collins said, according to the article. “We knew it was going to happen.”

The struggling Mets, who are 12 1/2 games out of first place in the National League East division with a record of 53-51, were going to deal Beltran one way or another. The six-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner is in the final year of his seven-year $119 million contract, and the Mets most likely would’ve passed on re-signing him.

The deal went public Wednesday, but because Beltran had a 24-hour window to approve of the trade, it wasn’t finalized until Thursday.

Many may think the Mets got gypped. Think again. The Mets unloaded a bunch of payroll and will have more flexibility this winter by ridding Beltran, and in the process acquired the sixth overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, in Wheeler.

The 21-year old is 7-5 with a 3.99 ERA for San Francisco’s Class A Advanced San Jose affiliate this season, fanning 98 batters while walking 47 in 88 innings.

The heavily coveted youngster, with an explosive fastball, was 3-3 with an identical ERA in his professional debut with Class A Augusta last summer.

According to MLB.com’s rankings, Wheeler was the Giants’ No. 2 prospect and 33rd-best prospect in baseball.

The exchange ends a long, drawn out 6 1/2 seasons with the Mets, as Beltran looks to power the defending World Champions back into late October.

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