While Moises Alou’s continued rehab progress will hopefully render the above headline moot, Newsday’s David Lennon suggests we should remain open to the possibility of Sammy Sosa bringing his boombox to Flushing. To which I can only reply, “where’s Al Leiter when we really need him?”

Omar Minaya no longer needs Sammy Sosa to be a cornerstone of the franchise, as he did in the months after seizing “full autonomy” of the Mets in the final weeks of the 2004 season. But adding his close friend – Minaya first signed the 16-year-old Sosa when the Mets’ GM was a scout for the Rangers – could make sense as a righthanded threat for a team that has struggled offensively at the corner outfield spots.

Certainly the price is no obstacle. Sosa signed a one-year, $500,000 contract with the Rangers that includes an additional $2.2 million in incentives based on plate appearances and a $200,000 bonus if he is named Comeback Player of the Year.

To his credit, Sosa has built himself a decent case for the award, entering last night with 14 home runs and 64 RBIs in 79 games for the Rangers. By comparison, Sosa, who was batting .243, would rank fourth on the Mets in homers, behind David Wright (17), Beltran (16) and Carlos Delgado (15). But all three lag behind him in RBIs; Beltran is the closest with 56.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels took some serious heat for signing the embattled Sosa in the final weeks before spring training, but no one is knocking him now for the move. Not only did Sosa cost him the baseball equivalent of pocket change, but Daniels could turn him into a decent prospect or two if he decides to deal him by the end of this month.

Sammy’s old pals in Chicago continued their recent tear with a 6-2 win over the Snakes today at Wrigley.  Aramis Ramirez doubled and slugged a 3-run HR off Arizona’s Brandon Webb, while Cubs starter Jason Marquis (Cha Cha) allowed little more than a 2-run HR to Chris Young over 7.2 IP, while earning his 7th win.

While Always Amazin’s Ryan McConnell wonders if Dontrelle Willis’ underwhelming ’07 campaign might make the Marlins starter a realistic trade target, I’ll shift to the other end of the achievement scale :  barring a late return from Jason Giambi (cough), I’m nominating The Meat Hook for MLB Comeback Player Of The Year.