Sunday, July 24, 2011

Edwards and Beltran hold keys to moves in NASCAR and MLB

The Major League Baseball trading deadline is less than a week away, and there is plenty of speculation about who will be moved, and similar statements could be said about NASCAR.

NASCAR doesn’t have a deadline and drivers aren't traded, but speculation about who they will drive for next year is just as rampant.

Carl Edwards is the NASCAR version of Carlos Beltran this year. Everybody wants to know where he will drive in 2012, just as they want to know which team Beltran will try and help make a push for the playoffs.

Both men came to this point in a similar fashion. During the mid-2000s, Beltran was the best postseason hitter in baseball bar none. That postseason with the Houston Astros in 2004 was simply incredible. However, after he tied the big league record of eight homeruns in the playoffs that year, Beltran has seen his production decline.

Beltran hit just 17 homers combined in the past two seasons with a career-worst .255 batting average last year. But, this season his average is back up to .291, he has 15 homeruns and several teams want him to join them for the stretch run.

Edwards has had a similar career path. At times he has looked like the best driver on the track every week, and other times he has fallen back into mediocrity will long winless stretches.

He had 12 wins combined in 2007 and 2008 while finishing in the top 10 in points both years. Then he hit rock bottom during a 70-race winless streak before winning last fall at Phoenix.

Now Edwards is back on top of the standings and is the most sought-after driver available for teams to lure for 2012.

Joe Gibbs Racing has made quite an effort to bring Edwards aboard, and it might work. Edwards has kept his mouth shut so far, but it might not be too long before the actual race during a weekend becomes a secondary story if Edwards does choose to move from his current #99 ride with Roush-Fenway Racing.

In both cases, the rest of the puzzle pieces will fall into place once these two athletes make a decision to either stay with their current team (Beltran has a no-trade clause) or take their talents somewhere else.

Particularly for the NASCAR world, Edwards’ decision will have far-reaching consequences. Joe Gibbs Racing could suddenly have maybe the best team in the sport, and Roush-Fenway Racing will have to shuffle people around to make things fit for 2012, not to mention try and find sponsors to fill the hoods of both Matt Kenseth’s #17 car and the #99 car, perhaps driven by Trevor Bayne or Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Until Edwards and Beltran make their decisions, tension will continue to build throughout both sports.


  1. Well at least we know where Beltran is going... To my all-time favorite baseball team and a team that could use a good bat... The San Francisco Giants! Who just happen to be the current World Series Champions!

  2. Dwindy1 - The Giants are sitting pretty now. Will Joe Gibbs Racing be saying the same thing in a few weeks?