Mike Piazza would like to own a baseball team someday

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Mike Piazza told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York this morning that he has considered becoming an owner.

“Would I be interested in possibly getting involved in a group to buy a team? Probably,” Piazza said. “I’ve been thinking about it. I think that would be something that would probably suit my desire, at least, to get into the game. I don’t really see myself on the field all the time, or in the boardroom all the time. But I feel like maybe I can bring certain intangibles to both. And having the credibility of being on the field and also getting to know some of the administrative aspects of the sport would be something I’d be interested in.”

Piazza is in Port St. Lucie today as the hitting coach for Team Italy, who is taking on a team of Mets’ minor leaguers. The 12-time All-Star told Rubin that doesn’t have anything on the forefront as an ownership bid, but indicated that he had been approached by groups interested in purchasing a stake in the Mets.

“I can’t confirm or deny any of that,” he said playfully. “Let’s just say I’ve talked to some people who have interest in getting into the game. It doesn’t cost anything to talk, thank god. At least not yet. Things start with ideas. And you have to dream a little bit, and you just never know. So we’ll see. But as far anything right now — any talks or putting together any groups — no I’m not involved in anything specifically.”

I’m actually rooting for this to happen, even if it isn’t with the Mets. Just close your eyes for a moment and imagine the Murray Chass outrage. It would be pure gold.

Evan Longoria: “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”

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The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.