Monday, August 22, 2005

'Roids or Not, Flyers Are Fun
By Ben Valentine

An odd title perhaps, to introduce an idea that I’ve heard floated about a few times over the last few weeks. The idea is the Mets trade for the now infamous Rafael Palmeiro. Now that he’s cleared waivers, (no surprise there) the possibility is out there. So should the Mets be looking into him?

I say yes, with a caveat of course.

The Amazin’s cannot think about giving up anything of value for Palmeiro. No prospects should be dealt. I don’t just mean the Lastings Milledges and Yusmerio Petits either. Brian Bannister, Mike Jacobs, Victor Diaz or any other “B” prospect the Mets have should be deemed off limits in a deal like this. Hell I’d be hesitant to deal Victor Zambrano, and I don’t think particularly highly of him.

So, then, if I’m against giving up value for Palmeiro, why would I be advocating acquiring him at all?

Honestly, I don’t know what Raffi has left. He might be done. Or he might have enough to put up numbers similar to what he did in Baltimore this year (.272/.353/.471). Of course Camden Yards is a hitter’s paradise, so his numbers likely would decrease at Shea. And what about the steroid factor? I tend to think he’s been off the juice since his positive test back in May. If that were the case, he’s had a pretty good year without performance enhancers, or at least, about as much as anyone could expect of him at his age.

Could Palmeiro could not be any worse than what the Mets have trotted out at first base this year? He’s a better player than Marlon Anderson and Chris Woodward. Doug Mientkiewicz has posted .245/.332/.428, while failing to stay healthy. Could Raffy do that? I think so.

Most importantly, I personally think he could be had on the cheap, because Baltimore wants to distance itself from this steroid mess. I find it highly doubtful he’d be back with O’s next year, and I doubt they’d find a lot of value for him. They haven’t played Raffi everyday since the suspension ended and have been caught in an awkward position as to whether or not to honor his accomplishments, specifically his ascent to the 3,000 hit plateau back in July. It would be in the best interest of both parties to part ways.

So what would it take to get Palmeiro? Cash and famous “player to be named later” could probably get done, with the player to be named later probably never being named at all. I just don’t see a huge market for Raffi, given the steroid issue. First base is also a deep position. Of the teams in playoff contention, I’d gather only the Mets, Padres and maybe the Astros could use one. The Yankees, A’s, Chi Sox, Indians, Bo Sox, Angels, Braves, Phillies, Marlins, Cubs and even the Nationals have better options. There’s nothing in the market to raise his value.

Another option for the Mets is dealing a problem for a problem. Despite his recent rejuvenation, I’d love the Mets to dump Tom Glavine and his bloated 10 million dollar option for next year. If the Mets offered to pay 5 million of that, giving the O’s Glavine at a reduced rate next year, would they make such a deal? The O’s need pitching and while I shudder to think about Glavine in that park, it might be a chance worth taking given the relatively bare free agent market. (Tommy at 5 mil, AJ Burnett at 10 mil or more?)

But what about the fact that Raffi is a proven cheater? Well folks, I’m realistic about it. So I’ll be up front.

If he helps the Mets make the postseason, then I’ll care about as much as Yankee fans did when Jason Giambi posted a .974 slugging percentage in July or how Giants fans cared when Barry Bonds had catapulted them seven outs from a World Series. Baseball is about winning and if Palmeiro helps the Mets do that, then I’m on board.


Blogger Zachary Geballe said...

Not only is this a decent idea, it's a move the Mets have to make. Yes, they'll take a PR hit for employing Palmeiro, but if they can turn him into a playoff berth, all will be forgiven. Really, this looks like a no-brainer, which probably means the Mets won't even consider it.

11:49 PM  

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