Might Milwaukee PEDdle Ryan Braun?

Recently, a Mets blog patched together pieces of information from various sources to conjure a rumor suggesting that the Brewers might trade Ryan Braun to the Mets for Ike Davis.

Could such a deal happen? Would you want it to?

Surely, New York is large enough to fit two big fat liars. If the Yankees can have Alex Rodriguez lying, denying, and apologizing about PEDs use every two years, then why can’t the Mets?

Yes, Ryan Braun has been an amazing offensive force over the course of his career. I admit to stopping everything I was doing whenever he came to the plate. I took the bait hook, line, and sinker in believing that Ryan Braun was a fantastic hitter — in the same way I marveled at Manny Ramirez.

Then came the failed test during the 2011 playoffs. I didn’t believe him when he denied using PEDs. I didn’t believe he was innocent based on a technical failure to prove him guilty. And I continued to see him as a lying S-O-B right up until he “came clean” as a result of an MLB investigation of Tony Bosch. I don’t believe him when he said he used “a cream and a lozenge” for “a short period of time to expedite” his rehabilitation. His public apology and phone calls to Brewers season-ticket holders bored me. Denial, denial, denial, and then an apology after being caught? Yeah, doesn’t really do much to instill any kind of confidence in your character or integrity. It’s exactly what A-Roid has done, and many others.

Once a person lies, it’s difficult to believe anything he/she says ever again. Looking past lies is not like forgiving. I can forgive a person for making a mistake. I can’t start believing a person who has lied — it doesn’t matter whether it’s a baseball player, a co-worker, an acquaintance, a politician, or some other person. But that’s me.

But let’s just pretend that Ryan Braun’s pack of lies are not part of the issue. Let’s just consider the fantasy that the Mets would be able to acquire Braun from the Brewers. Would you want him?

If the only player the Mets had to part with was Ike Davis, then, sure, it’s worth considering. Though, there is the matter of Braun’s contract (i.e., motivation for apologies and phone calls to season-ticket holders), which is guaranteed through 2020 and has about $117M left due to him. If there was no history whatsoever of PEDs, that contract would likely be very difficult for the Mets to take on, considering their financial issues and Sandy Alderson’s philosophy of avoiding expensive, long-term contracts.

But added to that is the fact that there IS a history of PEDs use. We have no idea to what extent Braun used PEDs, nor how much the PEDs helped his performance. There’s at least one person suggesting that Braun has been juicing since his college days. Credible or not, it has to be considered — all things must be considered and researched before handing over $100M to a ballplayer. And if indeed Braun has been taking PEDs all along, one has to wonder — if he stops, will he continue to be the remarkable hitter he’s been thus far? It’s not unfair to ask that question, considering what we’ve seen from other ballplayers who have been caught (such as A-Roid). Further, we have to wonder how Braun will perform as a thirtysomething without the aid of PEDs.

And then there’s the issue of a convicted PEDs user playing under the hot light of the New York stage, which is a whole ‘nuther can of worms. Is he up to the task? Can he handle the constant catcalls and postgame questions?

Maybe Braun really did only use PEDs for a “short period of time” in 2011. But if not, and the Mets acquired him, and had to pay the bulk of his contract through 2020, is it worth the gamble?

Anxious to hear your thoughts.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. CE November 21, 2013 at 6:22 am
    I don’t know, I feel like Ike for Braun would be a great idea. If anything the increased scrutiny on Braun in New York might be a good thing for him, compared to Milwaukee.

    That, and it would actually show the slightest amount of ambition from Sandy for once. You know, for things other than trading away Cy Young winners.

  2. blastingzone November 21, 2013 at 7:13 am
    If the mets are willing to chase a SS who had the same problem than I don’t see why they should not trade for
    Braun! The only reason why the mets won’t trade for
    Braun or sign the SS is money not PED’s!!
  3. Brian Reilly November 21, 2013 at 8:49 am
    James Loney would cost us 2yrs/$15-$20mm tops. Is a non-juiced Braun really $80mm better than Loney?
  4. Dan Capwell November 21, 2013 at 9:20 am
    That Met Blog article was just another transparent attempt to generate clicks. It worked. If the Mets get Ryan Braun for Ike Davis I will gladly donate $100 to the charity of your choice.
  5. DaveSchneck November 21, 2013 at 10:25 am
    I think Dan nailed it, but, just hypothetically, the Mets should consider it. Without knowing Braun personally, from a distance I can’t stand him. Lying is one thing, and it isn’t good, but going Lance Armstrong style and attacking others to protect your own lie is simply disgusting. That said, none of us are perfect, and the right individual can move on. This would require the Mets to agree on players to part with, which no doubt would require Ike plus. It would require the Brewers to kick in some money, say about the $30 million that Detroit kicked in for Fielder. It would also require Braun to address what he did for the New york fanbase, meaning coming clean with his full story right up front. I’m not sure what the PED standard is for testing dirty players, but it may require Braun to submit to more stringent testing as well to “prove” he is clean going forward. This likelihood of all this occurring may be about the same as the likelihood of me picking the winning powerball ticket, but I suppose stranger things have happened, and isn’t this type of fantasy what the hot stove seaon is all about?
    • izzy November 21, 2013 at 11:03 am
      Have to disagree about Braun coming here Dave. Everyone’s cheaters are OK as long as they produce. Didn’t Gary Cohen and co make excuses for Byrd for 4 months and all was good. Yankee fans booed AROD when he came until he hit a couple dingers and it was all cheers. didn’t the Ranger fans give Nelson Cruz a standing O when he came back, and he basically cost them the division title by taking the 50 games immediately. Aren’t a lot of Met fans pining for Peralta? The only exception was Mota. But not because he cheated, but because when he came back he sucked. This isn’t a Met thing. Its an every team thing.
      • DaveSchneck November 21, 2013 at 11:52 am
        Izzy,
        I’m not sure what you are disagreeing about. I do agree with you that it all comes down to performance. If he can perform close to his old self, and if he has a demeanor like Marlon Byrd, it can be beneficial. If he doesn’t have the personality to handle that scenario, Mets should pass.
  6. DanB November 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm
    A trade could be worked out and it might not cost them much. Even the money could be worked out. BUT, how good do you think a Braun not on PEDs be? That is the question. The Mets would demand Brewers kick in a lot of money which means they give up more then just Ike. But it is an interesting thought and discussion.
  7. e marie November 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm
    the Mets need right handed power to protect David and the outfield, go for it. who else is out there that is clean,. Cruz, A-Rod, Peralta? There ain’t much out there!
  8. argonbunnies November 22, 2013 at 10:27 pm
    Braun got caught cheating in 2011 and put up MVP numbers in 2012. Either he doesn’t need the juice, or he’s found ways to avoid detection. I’m not worried about his performance.

    If he performs, he’s a steal at $117 mil. Forget how overpaid he’ll be in 2020; $117 mil for five years of Braun is a fair price. 2018 and 2019 are just a bonus.

    Did I just say $23 mil/yr is fair? Yes. For Braun, it absolutely is. Name the MLB hitters clearly better than Braun. Miguel Cabrera. That’s it. Joey Votto might be better, but it’s close. And Votto’s contract is way uglier than Braun’s.

    Talent-wise, Ike + Montero for Braun is a no-brainer. Ike + Syndergaard would be tough, but still the smart move.

    There’s only one downside. Braun is a superstar scumbag who got famous with another team. Who buys guys like that? The soulless Yankees. I do not want to win that way. But as long as we don’t make a habit of it, I could stomach one Braun.

    Re: timing, don’t overlook the importance of having a competitive team while our young guys are coming up. Teaching them how to lose at the MLB level is not ideal.

  9. Chris November 24, 2013 at 12:53 am
    I’d be happy if another team would agree to give us a case of balls for Ike Davis. If we get a living breathing person in exchange then we certainly can’t do any worse than we already are.