And that means he is back in town for one weekend as the unwitting symbol of an embarrassingly inept old way of business. This is the superstar willing to go behind his superagent’s back to negotiate an incredibly below-market deal, only to hesitate when the team would agree to only $23 million over three years, instead of $24 million….
About that Hall of Fame push: It’s closer than you might think.
This week, I asked a dozen or so people inside and around baseball what they thought of Beltran’s Hall of Fame chances. The most optimistic said, “Yes, if he finishes this season like he’s started.” The most pessimistic said, “Not at all. I’ve never thought of him in that light.”
The representative thought: “Not quite yet.”
Through various advanced metrics, Beltran already fares favorably to Hall of Famers like Andre Dawson, Billy Williams and even Dave Winfield. He has more home runs than George Brett, more stolen bases than Robin Yount and probably will end up with more runs scored than Tony Gwynn and RBIs than Roberto Clemente.
You can play games with numbers to make any point you want, of course, but you don’t have to twist very hard for Beltran to rank among the game’s all-time greats.
The wonderful Baseball-Reference has a Hall of Fame Monitor that is exactly what it sounds like, with 100 points making for a good possibility and 130 being a near lock. Beltran is at 96 right now (tied with Bobby Doerr and Joe Torre) but could pick up 20 or more this season (which would put him near Dawson and Barry Larkin, among others).
He also has more hits than Hall of Famers Roy Campanella, Sandy Koufax, and Rollie Fingers COMBINED!