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"I made a joke with him, saying if he wants a watch with diamonds or without diamonds," Beltran said. "I'm still waiting for him at this point. He hasn't responded yet."
Giants general manager Brian Sabean made a handful of risky moves last summer and late in the 2010 season that paid off in a big way. This is another huge splash for baseball's longest-tenured GM.
"When you're defending world champions, you do have to try to defend that title any way you can," Sabean said. "We're in first place. Hopefully we show we mean business. ... Simply put, we're thrilled with bringing Carlos on board. We really felt the organization needed a shot in the arm and more so our lineup."
Last year, the Giants won their first NL West title since 2003, ended a six-year playoff drought and went on to capture an improbable championship -- the franchise's first since moving West in 1958.
"We're at an interesting place in time. We're trying to get back to the playoffs by winning the division, and much like last year taking our chances," Sabean said. "It's timely. Our fans deserve this as well as the team."
Beltran was plagued by knee injuries the past two seasons, but has been healthy this year and is enjoying a strong comeback season.
Once the teams agreed to terms, Beltran had 24 hours to decide whether to waive his no-trade clause. Shortly before New York's 8-2 win at Cincinnati on Wednesday night, he arrived in the clubhouse and told his teammates he was on his way to Philadelphia to join the Giants.
While parting with Wheeler was a tough call, Sabean and his staff weighed dealing a pitcher or a top position player. Wheeler wasn't going to be in the mix at the major league level for a while.
"Carlos is the player that we coveted all along," Sabean said. "As we knew what the price of doing business was there, it became apparent no matter where we turned we were going to take a hit on our prospect list."
That worked out for New York, which has overcome some key injuries to hover around .500 for weeks. But the Mets, who began the day 7 1/2 games out in the NL wild-card race, are looking toward the future.
"Zack was the guy that we focused on," Alderson said. "This is the kind of deal that we had hoped to be able to make at the outset, and when it materialized we didn't have any problem pulling the trigger."
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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