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The Mets certainly didn't get the Carlos Beltran who singlehandedly carried the Astros on his back in 2005

No, they didn't get that guy. But they got more than their money's worth -- at least according to the WSJ, regardless of what Wilpon thought.

From an article prior to Beltran's being traded: "Through six seasons and the Mets' first 47 games of 2011, Beltran earned roughly $105.9 million in salary. His value over that span: $119.8 million."

Note that the method used to make the valuation "...doesn't take into account other factors, such as a player's impact on ticket sales, and should not be taken as the defining measure of a player's value to a ballclub. But it is still a useful way to assess the extent to which a player lived up to his contract."

And Carlos DID in fact have an positive impact on ticket sales so the WSJ valuation is probably on the low side.

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