Kansas City might unload Beltran

The Royals cannot win the American League Central without an MVP-type season from Carlos Beltran.

Updated: April 5, 2004, 9:53 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
As the 2004 season commences, which player is looking at a season with the most diverse outcome? My vote goes to Carlos Beltran of the Kansas City Royals. With Opening Day upon us, there are two distinct possibilities for him:

  • The Royals could win the division and he would be a strong MVP candidate.
  • The Royals could get out of the gate poorly or tail off by the midway point and he could finish the season on another team.

    Let's examine the first scenario. Here's the logic: since the Royals cannot win the division without an MVP-type season from Beltran, we must therefore assume that if they do, in fact, win the division, he will have an excellent shot at the award. This is barring an historic season from some other quarter, of course. (Another player in a similar situation is Vladimir Guerrero. If the Angels can do what many experts are saying they will and win the division, Guerrero will be seen as one of the main reasons.)

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