But on a conference call Thursday to discuss the planned August 2011 opening of a $6.5 million baseball academy and high school in his native Puerto Rico, Beltran added that he is open to considering waiving his no-trade clause or discussing a move to right field if the organization believes either move is best.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson plans to visit Beltran Saturday in San Juan, where Beltran is holding a fundraiser for the start-up school, which will educate 180 students in the 10th through 12th grades while preparing them for professional baseball careers or college.
"Honestly, what I'm looking forward to is meeting and talking to him," said Beltran, who had a preliminary phone conversation Wednesday with Alderson. "Probably we're going to talk about baseball, for sure. We're going to talk about the Mets. We're going to talk about the team."
Beltran, 33, is entering the final season of a seven-year, $119 million deal and has full no-trade protection. Because he is owed $18.5 million in 2011 and has experienced chronic knee issues that limited him to 64 games last season, the Mets likely would have to heavily subsidize his contract if they were to send him elsewhere.
As a result, the likelihood is Beltran opens the 2011 season with the Mets. Still, Beltran indicated, he would have to listen if the organization approached him with a trade proposal.
"I know that I have the no-trade clause, but if the team is searching or looking to trade a guy, I have to listen," Beltran said. "I want to be a Met. I want to finish my career with the Mets. Right now, my mentality is just to come back next year 100 percent to help this team win a championship. But, at the same time, if the organization is looking at different options, I have to be aware. I'm a professional. I know the organization, they're professionals. So if the situation comes between them and us, we're going to handle it in a very professional way."
Angel Pagan, who was used in center field by the Mets in Beltran's absence, demonstrated greater mobility than Beltran. So, arguably, the Mets' best defensive alignment is Jason Bay in left field and Beltran in right field flanking Pagan in center in 2011.
Would Beltran resist such an alignment?
No, he said.
"Personally, me, feeling the way I feel and looking forward to getting to spring training feeling 100 percent, I just still feel that I can play center field," Beltran said. "But if the organization has different things in mind, then we have to talk about that. I'm all for doing whatever is good for the team. I have never been a selfish type of player. Like I said, I feel I can play center field. Let's see when he comes to Puerto Rico and we talk about it. We don't know [whether] we're going to talk about it, so we're getting ahead. ... if it happens, I'm more open to -- I'm open to -- listening."