Steve Serby of the venerable New York Postopines that the Mets and Mike Piazza would both do best if they were to have a parting of the ways:
Mike Piazza shouldn't have been the last person in New York to learn that he might have to pick up a first baseman's mitt sometime soon, but he was, because the new manager couldn't wait to break the news on television.
The move now isn't Mike Piazza to first base. The move is Mike Piazza out of town.
Serby points out that Piazza will become a 5-and-10 man on May 23--wasn't that quick?--and can then veto any trade that is made.
Serby sees Piazza going to Boston to DH in the near future. It's not as if their DH slots aren't full enough already.
Piazza would benefit by ending his now tempestuous relationship with the Mets. The Mets would benefit by getting young talent on which to build (as if the Red Sox had any). That sounds great all around.
The only thing wrong with the theory is that Steve Phillips would be basically signing his own death warrant. Phillips tenuous situation will last as long as the Mets can continue to pretend that they are playing for this season. If the Mets have a possibilty of contending, they need to keep Piazza. Once the Mets start a fire sale, it will be time for reflection and assessment and Phillips will very likely be the first to go. Phillips must know this and therefore, will be Dan Duquette-ing his way through at least the first half of the season. That is he will be forging ahead as if the Mets were in the playoff hunt. That means that Piazza will stay put at least for the time being.
It's important for the Mets to keep up appearances in the media center that is New York. Piazza is now the cynosure of all, the eye of the hurricane. Trading him, their best player, no matter who they got in return, would but be equal to throwing in the towel for the 2003. It may be time to do that, but such strategy would hurt attendance now. Everyone remembers how that destroyed the White Sox image with fans a few years back.
So the team will back Phillips' plan for as long as possible. With the fans and the media already circling above this moribund franchise, it may not take long. So it's a good theory to trade Piazza, but I don't see it happening before he becomes a 5-and-10 player.