Mets primed for Piazza trade

Mike Piazza could be headed back where it all began. <P> The Mets have engaged two possibilities that would send the 36-year-old catcher back to Southern California, where Piazza made his name as a rising star with the Los Angeles Dodgers a decade ago.

According to The New York Times, both the Dodgers and the Anaheim Angels loom as possible trade destinations for Piazza, who batted .266 with 20 home runs and 54 RBI last season.

2004 was Piazza's seventh year in New York and proved to be yet another frustrating and abbreviated season for Piazza, who missed a significant amount of playing time for the second straight year.

A collision at first base in August with the Florida Marlins' Juan Pierre forced Piazza to miss nearly a month, removing him from a poor overall season in which the club finished 71-91, 20 games under .500.

Piazza's overall transition to first base didn't move along as smoothly as could have been hoped, but it wasn't awful. Though Piazza's lack of mobility was evident, he committed only eight errors at first base in 517 innings, passable for a novice infielder.

Though a Piazza-for-Shawn Green swap was discussed with the Dodgers earlier this offseason, a deal to the Angels may prove more appealing for Piazza – who has a no-trade clause that would need to be approved. Many have speculated that he would benefit from taking a chunk of at-bats as an American League designated hitter.

The Angels are thought to be ready to cut ties with outfielder Jose Guillen, who was embroiled in an ugly situation with manager Mike Scioscia at season's end.

Anaheim could also wind up parting with right-hander Ramon Ortiz or left-hander Jarrod Washburn in a potential Piazza trade.

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