No player is being pursued as widely as Beltran with baseball's non-waiver trade deadline a week away. And he's doing his part to make sure the
Many around baseball had forgotten what a force the 34-year-old switch hitter could be. But he has reminded them how good he can be when he's healthy, batting .290 with 15 homers and a majors-high 30 doubles in his first 93 games.
"Looking at the big picture, I'm just happy that I'm healthy,'' said Beltran, who was batting .351 in his last 18 games. "I know that if I'm healthy and contributing, there are going to be teams that are going to be interested in me. It's fun.''
Some believe the
Some other things to know as the July 31 deadline approaches:
•The team that needs the most:
•Team likely to be the most aggressive: The
•Team with the most to offer: The
•Reason trading activity could be light: Six teams are in commanding position to make the playoffs, with the Yankees and Braves in control of wild-card races. Along with the Red Sox and Phillies, they might conclude they can stick with what they have (although most expect the Yankees to deal for a starting pitcher).
•Best front office to read and react: The
A year after having his toughness questioned, he's delivering the speed-power combination the Red Sox had expected from Crawford. A two-homer game against the
Ellsbury, who is hitting .316 with a .509 slugging percentage, is on track to score 118 runs, steal 47 bases and compile 72
"Just staying balanced, keeping my weight back and driving the ball,'' Ellsbury said. "It's being ready to hit and keeping my hands back. It's pretty simple. I haven't really changed anything."
He hit the 50-RBI mark Monday, becoming the first Brave to get 50 RBIs this early in a season since
"It's pretty impressive to see," pitcher