Carlos Beltran has certainly endured his fair share of ups and downs as a MLB player, but it is getting to the point where he needs to decide if he can be an everyday center fielder or is more suited to be a DH in the American League.

Many Mets fans have one image of Beltran permanently ingrained in their memory banks: the called third strike in the 2006 NLCS that brought their postseason chances to a grinding halt.  Adam Wainwright was the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher who put him in that situation. He made the pitch that he needed to make and was better prepared—that is what it came down to in the end.

Last winter, Beltran made headline news when it was determined that he needed another knee surgery after missing most of the 2009 season with bruises or hot spots in his right knee.  Mets doctors wanted him to wait for another opinion, but Beltran and his agent, Scott Boras, decided to go through with the arthroscopic surgery without waiting for consent.

Angel Pagan did a more than admirable job in center field during the first half of the season, so it is possible that he may be an attractive candidate to be traded this winter.  I do not think that Pagan should be dealt, unless it’s for a proven center fielder in the event that Beltran is not ready to be an everyday player.

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