Beltran proving tough sell for Royals

Updated: July 9, 2003, 9:00 AM ET
By Jim Baker
Don't look now, but the Twins -- with their loss to Texas last night -- have dropped to the .500 mark and left the Royals 4 games ahead in the American League Central. Every team in the division has allowed more runs than it has scored. With the Royals now nine games over .500 after Darrell May blanked the Angels, why are trade rumors still percolating about Carlos Beltran? Do they really intend to move him with a possible postseason berth looming, even if it comes only be default?

Bob Dutton writes in today's Kansas City Star that the asking price for Beltran might preclude him from going anywhere. The current trend is for teams to eat some of the salary of players they send away who are burdened with large contracts. In the case of Beltran -- who is set to make in the $9 million range in 2004 -- the Royals will not do that. They are also asking for two blue chip prospects in return, making it even more unlikely that some other team will take a battering ram to their door in order to get at the talented centerfielder.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at