Thursday, April 29, 2004
Kaley from Flushing Local direct me to this Rob Neyer article featuring the headliners of the '05 free agent class. Kaley asks if we can get comfortable with the idea of Richie Sexson at first base next year. I definitely can. The only problem being that to acquire Sexson, the Mets would have to trade Mike Piazza. Perhaps it's all the hoopla surrounding Piazza's imminent destruction of Carlton Fisk's career HR record for catchers, but I'm wondering if trading Piazza is truly necessary for the long term (2005 through, say 2007) success of the Mets. This suggestion might seem blasphemous to those in favor of rebuilding, but if Piazza stays healthy this year and if his transition to first base goes smoothly, is it crazy to think that the Mets should keep him through his $15 million 2005 season and then re sign him to a short term deal? After all, this just may be the Mets thinking. Why else would the Mets be pushing Mike to first base "to extend his career" if it is only to extend his career for another team. Maybe I'm in denial. The consensus is that for the Mets to move forward it has to be without Mike Piazza. I realize I'm flip-flopping worse than Bob Klapisch on this, as I was open to trading Piazza when I discussed the Alan Schwarz article the other day, but I think it's at least worth exploring possibilities that would keep Piazza on board. If Piazza stays healthy this year, shows he can still be an offensive force at the plate, shows he can split time behind the dish and at first base, and if he accepts a reasonable one or two year contract, then what's the harm in bringing him back and instead of signing an expensive first basemen, go after a top right fielder and starting pitcher. A 2006 Mets team that features, Mike Piazza splitting time at catcher with Jason Phillips, Mike Jacobs or Justin Hubler, Reyes at 2B, Matsui at SS, Wright at 3B, and an outfield of Floyd, Cameron and Carlos Beltran or Maglio Ordonez would place a potential All Star at each position and, combined with a solid starting staff, might just propel the Mets into another World Series. At the same time, signing Piazza would insure that Mike finishes his career in NY where he belongs, thus eliminating the risk of us Met fans having to watch as another great Met catcher gets enshrined in the Hall of Fame with another team's cap on.