Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 24, 2003
BASEBALL: Sell High?
Maybe you've noticed, maybe you haven't, but Robby Alomar's putting together a decent year; even after a fairly slow week, he's still sporting a .361 OBP and a slugging average near .400, he's leading the team in walks and runs scored, and he hasn't been caught stealing in 5 attempts. Lesson: sell. Alomar's still got a big name, and with just this year on his contract, a contending team should be willing to take a flyer. Candidates:
Minnesota: Not known for big spending, and they've got a young 2B with a good glove in Luis Rivas. Still, Rivas' .285 OBP leaves much to be desired. Not likely - with that division, why spend the money now? - but the Twins could be more interested come late July, when they'd have to eat only 2 months salary.
Oakland: Similar story, and less likely, but they did spring for Ray Durham last year. Depends how Mark Ellis is faring in July.
Philly: They're certainly spending, and a rebuilding team doesn't worry about trading aging veterans at the end of their contracts to divisional rivals. Plus, as I've mentioned before, moving Placido Poilanco to a utility role would be an upgrade. Another team that's likely to wait it out.
Cubs: The Grudz is batting over .300, so no hurry here, either. But with a mediocrity like Grudzielanek at second and Bobby Hill buried in the minors, Alomar would be a good fit for the stretch run.
St. Louis: This one has been rumored, but it only makes sense if Fernando Vina's really finished. They, too will wait and see, but they may be more interested in Benitez; with Izzy still out, the team leader in saves is Cal Eldred.
Los Angeles: Maybe your best bet; the Dodgers are starved for offense. But Alex Cora, despite his pre-2002 history, has actually hit well last year and this one. Thus, again, they'll be in no rush.
CONCLUSION: Mets have little choice but to hang on to Alomar and hope he's still motivated and playing well in July. If he's hitting above .280 on the 4th of July, there will be plenty of takers.