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Correction & Update Section

In my post this morning, I said that Carlos Beltran could buy half of his native Dominican Republic with the new $119 million contract he has apparently signed with the Mets.

Of course, Beltran is from Puerto Rico. I knew this, just had a brain fart.

As for the deal, it's way too much money, even for a player who could arguably be the best player in baseball.

This, to me, is very much like the A-Rod signing -- same agent, same M.O., Scott Boras convincing someone that he had to overspend to get the star player on his team, and within a very short time, two things became apparent:

1) the player wasn't happy at his new team;

2) the new team spent too much on one player and as a result, became unbalanced and couldn't win.

One other thing happened with the team A-Rod left: they instantly became a winner, because all the money they didn't spend on A-Rod was spread among several players, notably Ichiro, and they had a shrewd GM in Pat Gillick who made them a championship team for several seasons, before it finally fell apart last year.

The Astros could do the same, though their GM, Tim Purpura, is a rookie, and it'll be harder to replicate what Pat Gillick did in Seattle.

Finally, the Mets have spent more than $150 million on two players, one of whom (Beltran) will be under considerable pressure to be the star and carry the ballclub, something he's never had to do before (yes, he was such in Kansas City, but expectations there were never as high), and the other (Pedro Martinez) can be brittle and injury-prone.

Other than that, the Mets still have a lot of holes, and now don't have the money to fill them, either now or at trade time.

It says here that the Mets will regret offering this contract, maybe even as soon as mid-season 2005. It further says here that Beltran, in a year or two when the Mets still haven't won anything and he's tired of the negative NY press, goes to Omar Minaya and says he'll waive the no-trade clause that the Mets gave him, the no-trade clause that was apparently a big part of the reason he didn't take the Houston offer.

And now, dog & pony show over, the Cubs can turn their attentions elsewhere.