The price for Carlos Beltran is clearly up for debate

“The Mets are not getting a top-40-ranked prospect [in baseball] for Carlos Beltran even if they eat all the money [left on his contract],” an executive from a team that expressed interest in Beltran told Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

For example, an AL official who has talked to the Braves told Sherman: “There is no way the Braves give them one of their top four pitching prospects,” which includes Mike Minor.

According to Sherman, while ‘the Phillies and Giants have receded in talks,’ and the Rangers, Braves and Red Sox are still showing interest, ‘the Mets will likely will have to settle for a package of B-level youngsters.’

However, last night, Jim Bowden said on Twitter, based on his talks with someone familiar with these negotiations, that the Mets will get a top pitching prospect for Beltran, such as Robbie Erlin, Joe Wieland, Neil Ramirez, Tanner Scheppers, Robbie Ross, Barrett Loux and Roman Mendez from the Rangers, who have listed Beltran as No. 2 on their shopping list behind Padres closer Heath Bell.

Opinion added by Matthew Cerrone:

I think there is way, WAY too much interpretation with all of this, considering ‘top prospect’ can be pretty subjective. So, I take all of these proclamations with a grain of salt.

I wrote this last night, but I’ll say it again here: I’m guessing Sandy Alderson’s fail-safes are the Rangers, Red Sox and Giants, since I’ve heard all three teams can pay around $4 million on Beltran’s remaining salary, while also giving up one or two mid-level prospects, which might be what Sherman is inadvertently saying. The thing is, as we know, the Mets want to pay most of Beltran’s salary in hopes of getting one, top-tier prospect, like Gary Brown; but I can’t see how they get him unless Sandy makes keeping Beltran an option. The point is, I think we’re going to keep hearing of teams being in and out, right up until an actual deal is announced.

Yesterday, Ken Davidoff of Newsday said, ‘there isn’t much confidence within the industry that the Mets will be able to get a top-flight prospect for Beltran.’

Nevertheless, in a post to Twitter,’s Jerry Crasnick says he has seen no sign the Mets are dropping their asking price for Carlos Beltran. “They think he’s best guy on the market and a ‘legitimate difference maker,’” a source told Crasnick.

To read about the Rangers pitching prospects, check out this post from Minor League Ball.