Carlos Beltran will not attempt to try to run until early next month, but the center fielder -- or right fielder, depending on his spring training mobility -- said so far this offseason he has not experienced knee pain. At this point a year ago, Beltran was experiencing so much discomfort that he ended up having contentious Jan. 13 surgery on his right knee.
New York Mets
“I feel good about it,” Beltran said about the knee woes, which prompted him to be shut down after the Mets' Sept. 28 game. “What I was feeling last year when I stopped playing, I don’t feel pain in my knee. I’ve been training hard. I’ve been doing a lot of things I wasn’t capable of doing last year. So it’s getting better. In my situation, unfortunately, it doesn’t get better fast. It’s slowly. But I’m willing to put my effort there. And so far I feel good.
"I’m planning to start running at the beginning of January. I’m looking forward to that. I’ve been doing everything I can do to be ready. Last year I couldn’t do any squats, leg press, things like that. So this year I’ve been doing that pain-free. So that’s good. That really means the knee is taking the impact.”
Beltran said he heard rumblings of potential interest from the Red Sox in him, although that was a fallback option for Boston that now is further immaterial because of the acquisition of Carl Crawford.
“I heard a little bit,” Beltran said. “I heard because of my family. I’m not really into the computer searching. All those are rumors. I didn’t receive a call from my agent. I didn’t receive a call from the organization. So I don’t worry about it. The only thing I have to worry about is putting myself in the situation where I can go to spring training and help this team. I’m a Met. And I’m going to continue to work hard until I know something different.”
As for Sandy Alderson's visit to San Juan for Beltran's charity event for a start-up high school and baseball academy, Beltran said they never had a substantive discussion.
“He just really said hi, that he was going to be able to take charge of the team and all that,” Beltran said. “It was good. From what I have heard from other players and general managers is he’s a very professional guy, a guy that he knows what he’s doing. He has experience. I haven’t been able to really meet him and sit down with him.”
Meanwhile, while Beltran is likely to be a Met in 2011, his cousin was on the move this offseason. Boston dealt 19-year-old relative Reymond Fuentes to San Diego in the Adrian Gonzalez trade. Fuentes, also a center fielder, was the 28th overall pick in the 2009 draft. He hit .270 with five homers, 41 RBIs and 42 steals in 104 games with Greenville in the Class A South Atlantic League last season.
“I called him because he’s young,” Beltran said. “Sometimes when you’re young and a team trades you, they think they don’t like him. So I told him, ‘Man, the best thing that happened to you was being able to get traded to San Diego because that organization is an organization that doesn’t have players on long-term deals. And if you put up a good year, you play hard, you can play in the big leagues as soon as possible.' I think he’s happy about that.”