- Adam Rubin, ESPN Staff Writer
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CINCINNATI -- General manager Sandy Alderson does not intend to dismantle the New York Mets any further by Sunday's 4 p.m. trading deadline.
That is, "unless something extraordinary comes up," Alderson said.
So, Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran are elsewhere, while Jose Reyes, Jason Isringhausen, Tim Byrdak, Chris Capuano and Ronny Paulino stay. And the Mets can take a stab at trying to catch the Atlanta Braves for the wild card with their remaining roster intact.
"Let me first of all acknowledge that by trading Carlos, we've made it a little tougher on our remaining players and the Mets club," Alderson said. "I certainly acknowledge that. On the other hand, we have a pretty tough group and lots of motivated players."
Alderson noted the K-Rod and Beltran trades saved the Mets roughly $5 million, even with the organization sending $4 million to San Francisco to cover slightly less than two-thirds of the remaining amount owed to Beltran.
Does that increase the likelihood of re-signing Reyes next offseason?
"Five million is not going to get him signed," the GM quipped.
Well, at least it keeps the Mets in the game.
"Beyond that we'll see what happens," Alderson added.
Alderson said that while the Mets have played reasonably well, there just was not enough of a dent being made in the division and wild-card leads to justify keeping Beltran. He added that it's not often these days that a team can acquire the sixth overall pick in a draft via trade, as is the case with the Mets getting 21-year-old right-hander Zack Wheeler for Beltran. Wheeler was taken in the first round in 2009 out of high school in Georgia.
Wheeler will be assigned to Class A St. Lucie, the equivalent level to where he was pitching in the San Francisco system. His projected arrival in the majors is 2013.
"We were looking for big upside," Alderson said. "We could have gotten a package of three players from a number of clubs."
Alderson said Beltran's agent, Scott Boras, offered the Mets "some latitude" in considering sending the right fielder to the American League. Alderson said all the AL teams he engaged were willing to play Beltran in right field. Beltran had full no-trade protection.
"We didn't have total latitude, but we had some latitude beyond the National League," Alderson said. "... I always felt there was a possibility he would go to an American League club. But I always thought as well there needed to be a strong case for us."
The GM said had a prospect the caliber of Wheeler not been available, the Mets may have looked for salary relief instead.
"We strategically might have gone the other direction," he said.
Talks began with other organizations about July 1 and really ramped up this week. There was urgency because Beltran could block a trade, and because he, rule-wise, had to be provided a 24-hour window. In essence, the Mets' firm deadline was 4 p.m. Saturday, not Sunday.
"Monday and Tuesday things heated up pretty significantly with a couple of teams," Alderson said. "It was really Tuesday that the Giants got back involved. Once that occurred, we were able to work something out pretty quickly. Obviously the deadline is not until Sunday, but we were working with a somewhat different schedule."