Ryan Braun Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation Surrounding Star of

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Ryan Braun Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz and Speculation Surrounding Star of
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The New York Mets have inquired about the availability of Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Heyman shared the details of the brief exchange between Mets general manager Sandy Alderson and members of the Brewers, saying Alderson asked, "What's up with Braun?" earlier this offseason.

Even though it was just a quick inquiry, it shows that the Mets have some degree of interest in acquiring the embattled Braun, who was suspended the final 65 games of last year for his role in the Biogenesis performance enhancing drug scandal and for his actions during a separate PED situation in 2011.

The Braun/Mets rumors picked up steam last week when Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog.com reported that there was a "better chance" the Brewers would trade away Ryan Braun than Norichika Aoki in a possible deal for first baseman Ike Davis. A day later, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin discredited the rumors and said the team has "no intentions" of trading Braun, per Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel.

There's no doubting Braun's talent, but he comes with a ton of extra baggage that would be put in the spotlight in New York, much more so than Milwaukee. Right now, Braun is something of a villain in baseball and a poster child of the new era of performance enhancing drugs.    

After being implicated of wrongdoing in 2011 and eventually being cleared, Braun faced the media and decried his innocence. It turned out to be a bold-faced lie and he drew the ire of many of his contemporaries.

Even though many of his past accomplishments, like winning the 2011 NL MVP, are tarnished, Braun's ability in the batter's box is undoubted. From 2007 to 2012, Braun posted a slash line of .313/.374/.568 with yearly averages of 34 homers and 107 RBI while being named to five All-Star teams.

He just turned 30, and though Melvin told Heyman "four or five" teams are interested, it doesn't sound like Braun is going anywhere at this time. The Brewers would be wise to hold on to a rare hitting talent like Braun, even if it means there will be a few more cameras in the locker room.    

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