It felt like a goodbye.

Carlos Beltran dug into the batters’ box in the ninth inning of the Mets’ loss to St. Louis yesterday, and the 37,416 attendees took to their feet and applauded.

It may very well turn out to be a goodbye to one of the greatest talents in franchise history. There has been yearlong speculation that general manager Sandy Alderson may deal the right fielder as part of the organization’s reconstruction. San Francisco, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Boston have been most closely linked to Beltran with 10 days until the trade deadline.

Should Beltran be traded during the 10-game road trip that starts today, the franchise will be parting with an outfielder who was a five-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner with the team.

The 34-year-old Beltran has played in 93 games this season. He is hitting .290 with 15 home runs and 61 RBI.

“I heard the fans cheering. It was great. Let’s hope I can come back,” Beltran told reporters after the game. He went 0-for-3 with a walk. “Honestly, I’m not thinking about [it being his last home game as a Met].”

With long-term questions being asked of him and his team on a daily basis, Terry Collins has opted to take micro approach.

“I deal in reality. I know it’s news. I know it’s talked about,” Terry Collins said about the Beltran trade rumors. “That may be true, that may not be true.

“Right now, he’s hitting third in Miami on Friday.”

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