With only a few days left before the trade deadline, and the team continuing to hover around .500, the Mets finally pulled the gun today and reportedly agreed in principal to trade All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants for right-handed pitcher Zack Wheeler.

It had long been assumed that the Mets would trade Beltran before the deadline, because he will be a free agent next year and there was ultimately no way the fiscally devastated team would have been able to retain him. Beltran gave the game away, so to speak, last night when he threw his own going-away party with family and teammates after the Mets defeated the Reds 8-6.

In return for the six-time All-Star, who has been one of the Mets best hitters this year, the team will receive the Giants' top pitching prospect Wheeler, 21, a first round draft selection (sixth overall) in the 2009 amateur draft. This year, he is 7-5, with a 3.99 earned run average, for Single-A San Jose.

In his six-and-a-half seasons with the Mets, Beltran never quite lived up to his talent besides the 2006 season, when he hit 41 HRs and 116 RBIs. And of course, that almost-magical season was capped off by what may unfortunately be the lasting image of his stint with the team: watching a called third strike with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals.