Texas Rangers not out of Carlos Beltran race … yet

While it seems Carlos Beltran would prefer to stay in the National League, the Texas Rangers still are in the race for the outfielder. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Carlos Beltran, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, apparently told the New York Mets he only wants to be traded to one of seven National League contenders.

If you were hanging around the Twitterverse on Sunday afternoon, you read this story and either your heart dropped because you wanted Beltran in this lineup or you got excited because you didn’t understand the pursuit of him anyway.

But before you really start to celebrate, a baseball source with knowledge of the Beltran talks said last night the Texas Rangers are not out of the race. In fact, the source went as far as to say the Rangers still were the No.1 team on their list to acquire the Mets’ outfielder.

If you read Stark’s report yesterday, you would have seen him cite a source who wasn’t present for a conversation Beltran apparently had with “a friend.” This source told Stark that Beltran did not want to be traded to Texas because he did not want to play center field and he did not have experience in the AL West.

For the past few weeks, reports out of Texas had the Rangers moving Josh Hamilton to center and sliding Beltran into left field. So why does he assume Texas wants him as its center fielder?

As far as his apparent “lack of knowledge” of the AL West, Beltran spent his first seven seasons in the majors with the Kansas City Royals. I would think he knows the American League quite well.

The next question, if in fact the Rangers still are in the race for Beltran, is who will the Mets want in return? I asked that exact question and was told minor-league pitchers Robbie Erlin and possibly Tanner Scheppers would be a start.

While a deal isn’t close between the Mets and Rangers, or any other team for that matter, it seems as if the injury to Adrian Beltre on Friday night pushed the Rangers even harder into the race.

We’re still a long way from finding out who wins this race because the Texas Rangers aren’t the only team in the race. In fact, a source said while Texas was at the top of the list, the San Francisco Giants were closing in fast because they would love to have him in their outfield.

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