Dec 17

Are Mets bidding against themselves for Bay?

The Mets are in serious negotiations with outfielder Jason Bay, and are presumably the team with the most interest.

Seattle, Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco also have interest, but it is considered minimal in comparison to the Mets’ package of $65-million over four years, which they reportedly are willing to increase with a fifth year.

Given this, it might be time for the Mets to play hardball with their best and final offer, telling Bay to take it or leave it. Then, they can go after some pitching.

Dec 16

Bay negotiations ….

The negotiations for outfielder Jason Bay continue, with the Mets making it a five-year, $75-million package. However, Bay wants a sixth year, which would make him 37 at the end of the contract. If Bay holds fast on six years the Mets will turn to Matt Holliday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the Cardinals offering a $128-million deal over eight years.

Dec 15

Minaya promises better team ….

In the wake of yesterday’s big splash by the Phillies, Mets GM Omar Minaya promised a better team next year. Speaking to reporters at Citi Field, Minaya said: “I feel like, in past years, we have always found a way to improve our club, and I feel comfortable we will continue to work hard and, when it’s all said and done, when we get to Opening Day, our team is going to be better than they way they ended last year.”

Assuming Jose Reyes returns, David Wright regains his power stroke and a full, injury-free season from Carlos Beltran, not to mention, Johan Santana, the Mets can’t help but be better next year.

The injuries were the storyline last season, but even so there were plenty of times in which they did not perform, especially on the mound.

Minaya said the Mets aren’t done, and didn’t express discouragement as to how things have progressed.

“We have a plan, and our plan, I like our plan,” Minaya said without telling what it was. “We know who we’ve targeted, and we feel comfortable if we get our guys we’re gonna have a very good team on the field and we’re going to be a team that will compete for our division and compete for the pennant.”

The Mets ended the season needing at least two starters to address the concerns over Oliver Perez, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey. They also needed a catcher and left fielder.

As of now, none of those needs have been filled.

I don’t share Minaya’s confidence. Whether or not you guys do, let me know in the newest poll.

Dec 14

More Bay watching ….

The Mets believe they’ll get a handle on the Jason Bay landscape toward the end of the week. One thing is clear, the Mets’ initial offer of $65 million over four years won’t be enough to get it done.

If their offer is the Mets “real” evaluation of Bay, then they’ll have to overpay to get the 31-year-old outfielder. A guaranteed fifth year could get it done, as Bay’s agent has said there’s a fifth year offer from an unnamed team on the table.

The Mets prefer Matt Holliday, but he’s a Scott Boras client and it will be closer to $100 million to get him. The Red Sox are also considering Holliday. Boston’s offer is a four-year, $60-million package. The Red Sox say they won’t go higher, but that seems like posturing to me.

The Mets haven’t heard from Bay on their offer. GM Omar Minaya said he’s also going to look at his non-tendered options, which include Cincinnati’s Jonny Gomes and Oakland’s Jack Cust, who hit 20 and 25 homers, respectively last year.

Another power option – and a cheaper alternative to bringing back Carlos Delgado at first – is San Francisco’s Ryan Garko.