We are in the staring phase of the negotiations with Jason Bay and Bengie Molina. The Mets don’t want to go to five years with Bay or three with Molina; the players believe there aren’t many options other than them.
Who blinks first?
If it doesn’t get done this week, don’t expect anything to happen until after the holidays. The Christmas-New Years weeks is traditionally quiet.
The Mets have proven in the past a willingness to wait it out and it might serve them well this time, also. Maybe so, but things have changed over the past few winters. For one, the Mets can no longer reasonably call themselves contenders after last year’s finish. There’s more a sense of desperation.
The Mets’ options after Bay aren’t appetizing. They won’t break the bank for Matt Holliday. Johnny Damon? Perhaps, one-year options in Jonny Gomes or Jermaine Dye. Perhaps, in a year with either F-Mart might have blossomed (you never know).
Rod Barajas is seemingly the other catcher options. I’m willing to go with him or the status quo because Molina, at 35, is not worth three years. One plus an option. Maybe two at the most, but I’m not crazy about that, either.
But, what about left? Should Minaya cave on the fifth year? Go nuts with Holliday realizing they won’t have anything left for pitching? Try to work something less than three years with Damon? Or go with Gomes or Dye?
They still need pitching, so I would rather give a one-year plus an option deal to someone and go after pitching. The Yankees are now saying they want to add a starter by the end of the year. The Mets won’t be able to compete with them for Jason Marquis or Jon Garland.
What’s left? Jarrod Washburn?