Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, August 7, 2001


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Benny remains
with the Mets,
for now

Mets' Agbayani playing
the waiting game

From staff and wire reports

Unable to make a deal with the San Francisco Giants, former St. Louis School and Hawaii Pacific standout Benny Agbayani will remain a New York Met for now.

After missing several games while the Mets tried to work out a deal, Agbayani was back in the starting lineup for tonight's game with Milwaukee at Shea Stadium.

The 29-year-old player made it no secret he wanted to stay with New York, even after it leaked out that he had been put on recallable waivers last week.

There's still a possibility that a deal could be worked out with the San Francisco Giants, who reportedly claimed him off waivers, next month. The sticking point was apparently Eric Davis. New York didn't want the aging star to be part of any deal.

For New York Mets outfielder Benny Agbayani, no news is good news.

The St. Louis School and Hawaii Pacific University product will learn today whether he will be dealt to the team that won the waiver claim on him -- reportedly the San Francisco Giants -- or pull the claim and keep him at least until next month.

Agbayani remains sidelined until the matter is resolved today, but would much rather be playing since he was benched after running off a season-high six-game hitting streak.

"I sat around," Agbayani told New York Newsday reporter Marty Noble after watching his Mets beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2-1, Friday. "I watched. I ate. I tried to gain weight so I could get hurt and not get traded. Hey, you do what you have to do."

Agbayani was placed on waivers with a majority of the Mets' roster last week, but his low salary of $260,000 made it certain he would be claimed.

And he was, so far the only Met to be selected off the waiver wire.

If a player is claimed his team can either pull him back off waivers, let the team that claimed him have him or work out a deal.

Players routinely are put on waivers by their teams every year so that the club can have the option of trading them after the deadline.

According to The Daily News in New York, the Giants and Padres were after Agbayani before the July 31 trade deadline and the Giants nearly aquired him for Armando Rios. But San Fransico opted to send Rios to Pittsburgh for John Vander Wal, instead. says that the only thing holding up a deal between the Mets and the Giants is that San Francisco general manager Brian Sabean wants New York to take on outfielder Eric Davis in addition to a prospect.

So Agbayani has been just sitting around waiting for something to happen so that he can get back on the field, be it back in New York, San Francisco or San Diego.

His wife, Niela, has been busy though, fielding calls from well-wishers and inquisitive friends.

"My wife got a lot of calls" Agbayani told T.J. Quinn of the New York Daily News on Saturday. "It doesn't bother me because I know they don't know the business aspect of the situation."

But Agbayani knows enough of the business end of the game to be able to shrug off the continuing uncertainty and swirling speculations.

"I'm not worried about it," he told Andrew Marchand of "What can I do?"

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