Wednesday, January 04, 2006


The Mets, Rangers and Padres are the three teams interested in Bret Boone, while the Mets explore options for addressing their primary remaining need - setup men in the bullpen - they are investigating choices at second base, too, and they are one of three teams interested in former All-Star Bret Boone. The Rangers and Padres are also having an eye on him, and it's likely that Boone will sign a minor-league deal with one of the three clubs and get an invitation to spring training. If Boone signs with the Mets, he could push Kaz Matsui at second, or perhaps take over the position if Matsui is unloaded via trade, which the Mets hope to accomplish. That's already assumed that Boone can right his career, which took a sharp downturn last season when he was released by the Mariners and Twins and hit just .221 with seven homers and 37 RBI in 88 games, 74 with Seattle. Minnesota dumped him after only three weeks. Boone was once one of baseball's best second basemen and was an All-Star as recently as 2003, when he batted .294 with 35 homers and 117 RBI. In 2001, when he was third in voting for the AL MVP, Boone batted .331 with 37 homers and an AL-best 141 RBI. He has won four Gold Gloves. It's yet so perplexing to decide that which would be the best scenario for Boone - the Rangers could go with 23-year-old rookie Ian Kinsley at second and they recently signed D'Angelo Jimenez to a minor-league contract. The Padres could use rookie Josh Barfield, the son of former Yankee Jesse, Mark Bellhorn or Bobby Hill.


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