Dec 17

Minaya says Phillies are still better ….

GM Omar Minaya said until the Mets add a starter or two, they still aren’t as good as the Philadelphia Phillies: “We’re not better than them, they’re the World Champions. You don’t win world championships on paper. Do I think we’ve improved our club? Yes. But, the bottom line is the Phillies won the World Series and they won the division twice. The experience of winning the World Series is huge.”

Dec 17

Rodriguez eyes big year ….

RODRIGUEZ: Expects big numbers this summer.

RODRIGUEZ: Expects big numbers this summer.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel stood at the podium and in a classic photo opportunity helped his closer, Francisco Rodriguez, put on his new jersey.

“Seventy-five,’’ Manuel said as he looked at the number. “That’s the number of saves he’s going to have.’’

Rodriguez, introduced this afternoon at the Citi Bank Building in Long Island City, understands the math.

“I’m aware of what is expected,’’ said Rodriguez, who expects the same after his record 62 saves last season for the Angels earned him a three-year, $37 million contract with the Mets.

“Every year I come to spring training with the goal to have better numbers than I had the year before.’’

Why the Mets?

Besides money, Rodriguez said his decision “was easy … they are one team that is hungry to win.’’

General manager Omar Minaya said the acquisitions of Rodriguez, and J.J. Putz from Seattle, who’ll be introduced tomorrow at Citi Field, have solved the Mets’ bullpen problem, which was defined by 29 blown saves last season.

“One thing we lacked last year was being able to close out a game, but we went out and got the best closer in the game,’’ Minaya said of Rodriguez.

Dec 16

Here’s how the Mets should play Perez.

PEREZ: Time to give ultimatum.

PEREZ: Time to give ultimatum.

GM Omar Minaya puts the odds at 50/50 of the Mets re-signing Oliver Perez, this despite no other team linked to the erratic left-hander.

What we can expect from the Scott Boras client is to drag out the negotiations in the hope of driving up the price. Long and painful, just the way it is when the tge  The Mets displayed patience last year and Johan Santana came back to them. And, because the Mets controlled the closer market, they were able to get Francisco Rodriguez on their terms.

It won’t be that easy with Perez. If Minaya’s odds are accurate, the Mets need to go in another direction, and right now, needing a left-hander, that means Randy Wolf.

Wolf, the former Phillie, has nibbles from Baltimore, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Francisco. At $3.7 million last year with a 12-12 record, somebody will snap him up.

If you’re think 12-12 is no great shakes, remember Perez, for all his stuff, is 55-60 lifetime.

The Mets should pursue Wolf hard and make sure Perez understands that situation. I’d give Perez my best offer now and tell him the clock is ticking with a deadline. After the deadline, the offer is off the table and could go down.

Should the Mets sign both? Why not? They have two spots to fill and Jon Niese is no guarantee.

Dec 16

Booze honcho wants to buy Mets ….

Martin Silver, owner of Syosset-based Star Industries, wants to buy the Mets from the Wilpons, and after speaking to potential investors said he could put together a $700 million offer.

“As a life-long Mets fan and a season ticket holder for over 25 years, I would not like to see the Mets organization fall into the wrong hands,” Silver write in a letter to Wilpons reported The Daily News.

Forbes magazine has put the value of the Mets at $824 million.

Although the Wilpons took a reported $300-million hit in the Ponzi scandal, Fred Wilpon told MLB the losses won’t affect the team’s operations.

Dec 15

Would you take back Nady?

NADY: I'd want him back.

NADY: I'd take him back.

It’s been reported should the Yankees sign Manny Ramirez they’d might want to trade Xavier Nady. Well, if he were available, would you want him back?

Nady showed power and a reliable glove in the short time the Mets had him in 2006, prior to sending him to Pittsburgh in the deal for Oliver Perez.

Nady made $3.3 million last year and will be a free agent after the season. He can play the outfield corners and first base.