Just to weigh in, because I didn't put a Mets angle on it last time.
Now, A-Rod wants a ridiculous, stupid, payroll-crushing, team-dehabilitating contract. The Mets should not pay a player $30+ million a season, unless there is something that I am not understanding regarding the Mets payroll structure.
For instance, the Mets are currently around $120 M per season in payroll, and have been between there and $100 M as far back as I can remember keeping track of the numbers (approximately 2000). If there is room in the payroll to go up to $200 M like the Yankees, or to make a couple big additions thanks to the new stadium or SNY, then maybe A-Rod makes sense. Short of a good, business-side reason to do it, I doubt it will happen.
I will not, however, tolerate the people who say that its not a good baseball decision. Money wise, it might not be practical. Baseball wise, its a no brainer. Sure, we have David Wright and Jose Reyes manning the two positions that A-Rod has ever played in the majors. That's great. But we're talking about the best player in the game here. Available. For nothing but money. No trade, no nothing. Just cash.
I'm just spitballing here, but if I were the Mets, I'd sign A-Rod to play third and move David Wright to second. A lot of people are saying that David should move to first, but he's got a lot of natural talent and doesn't need to be hidden. He has fast hands and feet, and the majority of his errors have been throwing. Putting him at second alleviates those concerns.
Of course, there is always the concern that moving David would affect his hitting, or clubhouse demeanor, or what have you. And those are valid concerns. But if you think that A-Rod could be had within budget, I think you have no choice but to do it. David has a good personality and good baseball smarts. Move him to second, a position of ridiculous scarcity, and let him battle it out with Chase Utley for years to come.
Now, A-Rod might not be the best third baseman fielding-wise, but he won't accept a contract to play first base. Unfortunately, he also can't pitch.
But the object of the game is to score more runs than the other team. There is no discernable way, as far as I can tell, to improve the pitching staff at the moment.... but that is NOT a reason to stand pat and do nothing. Take a look at this.
Four players who could legitimately compete for the MVP. Reyes and Wright are among the top ten best players under 25. Beltran is, I believe 29. A-Rod would be 31. That core would be around for the next four years. Alou and Delgado can't be counted on to carry the lineup - but when healthy, this team could drop the hammer big time. And if you like, you can even do this.
This makes the lineup S, R, R, S, R, L, R, R. If Milledge takes the step forward that I expect him to this season, that lineup could score 1000 runs. Of course, the heart of the order is very righthanded, so we need Beltran separating Wright and A-Rod. But I think it woul dbe great. It would also give Beltran, facing righty specialists, the ability to bat lefthanded and tee off for an entire season. Oh, mercy.
By the way, Milledge projection. Having watched him, he's not doing to develop power. He's also not going to develop the speed I expected from him. I see Milledge as - and don't laugh - a young Tony Gwynn. Of course, he's got a completely different body... but his lightning quick bat is going to ensure him high batting averages forever.
He posted a line that was something like .330/.390/.470 in AA two years ago. I expected that the power would develop but it looks at this point like he is too small. He just has the wrist quickness. This year, and for his career, I expect high averages, a decent amount of homers, a little speed, and great defense. Not much speed though.
He posted a .272/.341/.446 last year. Look for Milledge to do something like this if given playing time this season:
.305 ba, .355 obp, .470 slg, for an OPS of 825. He'll hit 20 home runs and steal 16 bases. If he bats up in the order, expect him to score 100 runs and drive in 80. Its not huge, but players like that are a very, very, very valuable commodity. Over the last ten years, NL outfielders under the age of 30 have been able to hit .300 with 20/20 seventeen times. Think about it.
In the prime of his career, Milledge may be able to hit, with some luck: .330/.380/.500 with about 25 homers a year. Remember, he was only 22 this year.