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Beltran would love to have Ramirez on Mets

NEW YORK -- Carlos Beltran has heard the rumors, that the
New York Mets inquired about a possible trade for Manny Ramirez.

While trade talk between the Boston Red Sox and Mets appears to
have cooled, Beltran would love to have Ramirez alongside him in
the Mets outfield this year.

"If it happens, that would be great," Beltran said Thursday
during a telephone conference call. "Who doesn't want to have
Manny on the ballclub? Who doesn't want to have that bat on the
ballclub?"

Beltran spoke several times during the offseason with Carlos
Delgado, the hard-hitting first baseman the Mets acquired from the
Florida Marlins to boost their offense and said that he spoke with
Delgado just as reports of the trade were breaking. Beltran
acknowledged that a deal for Ramirez likely was a long shot.

"I think for the Mets to be able to get that done, it has to be
a perfect deal," he said. "If it doesn't happen, I think right
now with what we've got, we can accomplish what we need to do."

Beltran struggled during his first season with the Mets, who
signed him to a $119 million, seven-year contract last December. He
was bothered by a leg injury, then had a head-to-head collision
with right fielder Mike Cameron during an August game at San Diego,
which left Beltran with occasional dizziness for a month.

Beltran batted .266 with 16 homers, 78 RBI and 17 steals. In
2004, he played for Kansas City and Houston, combining to hit .267
with 38 homers, 104 RBI and 42 steals. In the 12 playoff games
with the Astros, he had eight homers, 14 RBI and six steals, a
performance he acknowledge "was something special."

"2005 was for me a year of adjustment. I was playing all my
career in a small market. Being able to sign with a big-market team
in New York and playing over there was a little bit different," he
said. "I know that if I stay healthy, I know I'm capable of doing
a lot of good things on the baseball field, and I know I can help
the team win ballgames and win the division."

Notes
The Mets will open spring training Feb. 16, with pitchers
and catchers starting workouts on Feb. 18. Position players report
Feb. 21 and start workouts two days later.