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The Mutts

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As a Mets fan I tend to suffer interminably from a case of "the grass is greener" syndrome when it comes to players on the Mets. My buddy Alex is stricken with a similar afliction, only his suffering pertains to the Phillies (subliminal plug: check out SportsBlogs own Phillies blog, the good phight).

As we have both grown tired of our own players, we often kick around real-life trade proposals to each other, just for the hell of it. The other day we put together a monster, and after a few iterations of back-and-forth between us we came up with the following:

Mets get
Jim Thome
Bobby Abreu
Ryan Madsen

Phillies get
Carlos Beltran
Kris Benson

No cash would change hands, just personnel. The impetus for my half of the trade is my current lack of confidence in Carlos Beltran to rebound next season, plus the $109 million the Mets owe him over the next six seasons. I am also very concerned about Kris Benson, whose peripheral stats have been terrible all year, a weakness that has been bullet-riddled by opposing batters since August. He is riding career-lows of 5.18 K/9 and 1.15 HR/9, and I just wonder if he is in fact the same guy who pitched crummily for the Pirates these past five seasons.

Alex wants to get rid of Thome and his massive salary, and still gets cold sweats when he thinks of the $40.5 million the Phillies owe him over the next three seasons, plus a $3 million buyout in 2009. Abreu is owed $28 million over the next two seasons, plus a $2 million buyout in 2008. Thome no longer has a position to play in Philly with Ryan Howard playing so well.

I told him it seemed like he was taking on a lot of money but he insisted on Benson despite my insistance that Benson might not actually be any good.

So the Mets take on $27 million in cap money ($12.80 for Abreu and $14.17 for Thome) and they lose $24 million ($16.43 for Beltran and $7.5 for Benson). The Mets' 2006 Opening Day Dreamworld Lineup looks like:

C  Mike Piazza
1B Jim Thome
2B Kaz Matsui
3B David Wright
SS Jose Reyes
LF Cliff Floyd
CF Mike Cameron
RF Bobby Abreu
Piazza would split time at catcher with Ramon Castro and Matsui would get a chance to fail before being replaced by Anderson Hernandez. Of course this trade won't ever happen, but the Mets would pick up two huge-OBP guys, regain Cameron's defense in centerfield, and not really add too much salary, leaving room to pursue Billy Wagner and A.J. Burnett.

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