He’s a sanctimonious, litigious blowhard, now widely reviled as a lying cheat by his former fans. He’s owed big bucks until 2021. And, yes, I think he should become the Mets top trade target this off-season. I am talking, of course, about Ryan Braun. What do you think, Mike?
Braun has gone from being a hero in Milwaukee to a villain. Plus he will be 30 years old next season and now has been proven to have a PED past. Many years, and dollars, remain on his contract. All of that says walk away, maybe run away.
But Braun has always hit. And we need hitters, and do not have tremendous organizational depth to acquire it. I wonder how large of a market is there right now for Ryan Braun? And given what has transpired, can we acquire him at a bargain price? Because you have to have an open mind. There is a price at which I become very interested. He would fit very well in our every day lineup.
His presence would dramatically alter the lineup. I don’t need to read you the stats, but here’s his HR/RBI numbers, 2007-2012:
He’s been good for 35+ doubles annually. The career slash line: .312/.374/.564. Twice he’s stolen 30 bases. Three times he’s been top 3 in MVP voting. The glove is good.
Okay, true, he’s entering his age-30 season. The PEDs are gone (unless he’s found a good masking agent!). Let’s look at the contract, according to Cot’s:
- 2014: $10M
- 2015: $12M
- 2016: $19M
- 2017: $19M
- 2018: $19M
- 2019: $18M
- 2020: $16M
- 2021: $15M mutual option ($4M buyout)
I don’t think the “bargain price” mentality gets it done. Other teams will be fishing these waters. How’s this for a conversation starter: Ike Davis, Wilmer Flores, and a pitcher, but which one? Assuming Wheeler and Harvey are off the table, would you also add Syndergaard and Montero to our “no fly” list? What about Gee? What about Parnell? Still too much?
How much of the contract are we absorbing? If it is all of it, I’m not giving up as much as you are suggesting. PEDs or not he turns 30 in November and the contract is backloaded. If we take the entire contract, I’m not going crazy. Other teams will be interested, but I do not expect a bidding war. Braun’s past and contract devalues him. So, if the assumption is the Mets take that contract, then no Gee, Montero, Syndergaard, or Parnell. They can have deGrom, Davis, and Flores. If we are spending big money we can also sign guys like Abreu, Choo, or Ellsbury and give up nothing.
If the Brewers pick up money that is a different market. For now I’ll assume if they can’t get anyone else to pay him they keep him in Milwaukee.
Good point about the contract. Given the recent love affair with Marlon Byrd, and the mentality of New Yorkers in general, I don’t see the PED thing as a big issue. We’re a forgiving bunch and we’re not emotionally invested, like the fans in Milwaukee.
Exactly! Spree could take guys off the dribble; we needed that! And here comes Ryan Braun, the Hebrew Hammer. Pair him with Wright in the heart of the order and that allows the Mets to go with a patchwork quilt at CF & RF. They’d need to fix SS, of course. Sign a veteran pitcher to plug into the rotation. It even allows you to let Duda/Satin play first base. Braun strikes me as the perfect fit — and, yes, there’s something reminiscent of Keith Hernandez, circa 1984, about this opportunity. He’s a great player, he’s available, and he might be under-valued.
I agree, and there is a lot of similarities. People look at that trade now, Rick Ownbey and Neil Allen for Keith Hernandez, and can’t believe it. But Keith was central in the cocaine trials, and St. Louis is in the heartland. Hernandez was also going to become a free agent, and would need to get paid.
The Cardinals looked at all of this and decided to dump the guy and were willing to take a discounted trade. If they wanted any of Strawberry, Darling, Dykstra or Gooden in return we can assume he would never have become a Met.
Assuming Tulowitski is off the table, does he top your wish list?
Not at all. All things being equal I rather have Cargo or Stanton, to name two names. I am not dying to acquire a 30 year old PED lying cheat. But Braun is intriguing as there might be a chance to “win” a deal. For me, if that is not possible, I move to other targets. He comes with risks and headaches.
I’m not paying retail for that.
Well, all things are rarely equal. The cost in prospects for either of those two guys will be sky high. Sandy would have to put serious pitching on the table. Do we have it to spare? And those fellows will want to get paid, too. Should make for an interesting winter.