Dec 21

Dec. 21.09: Playing the waiting game ….

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.
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Dec 20

Dec. 20.09: Not knocking on Damon’s door ….

There was a time when I would have jumped at Johnny Damon coming to the Mets. But, that was several years ago. Damon, coming off a fabulous postseason, has renewed interest in some. Mostly, his agent, who is salivating with thoughts of another payday.

But, even Scott Boras wasn’t able to fake the Yankees this time.

Damon is a good player, but he’s an aging one with an inevitable breakdown in his immediate future. There’s no DH to hide him. If they won’t to go one year, OK, I’ll do it, but that’s not happening.

Damon wants three, and as good as he was hitting at Yankee Stadium, I don’t see that production in Citi Field. I’m passing on Damon.

Dec 20

Dec. 20.09: On This Date ….

It happened today ....

It happened today ....

In Mets history, in 1996, the Mets acquired first baseman John Olerud from Toronto for pitcher Robert Person. The Blue Jays were forced to make the deal because they needed a spot for Joe Carter.

I saw Olerud play a lot when I covered the Orioles and Yankees. He was one of the more soft-spoken players I’ve dealt with, but he sure did have a sweet swing. And, with him at first, the Mets had one of the finest fielding infields in the game.

Any memories of Olerud?

Dec 15

Why not the Mets?

CAPPS: Not drawing interest from Mets.

CAPPS: Not drawing interest from Mets.

At 26, and showing solid production and no injury history, the interest has been hot for reliever Matt Capps. Reportedly, a dozen teams have contacted Capps’ agent, but surprisingly not one of them has been the Mets. He’s a free agent because Pittsburgh did not offer arbitration.

With the bullpen in need of repair, one would think the Mets would be all over this. They are not.

Agent Paul Kinzer called the interest in Capps as “enormous.” Capps has said he’d like to pitch for the Cubs, but the field includes the Yankees, Orioles, Nationals, Marlins and Rangers. The reported asking price is at least $3 million a season. He has closer experience and would be ideal for the Mets’ set-up role.

Dec 15

Sorting things out ….

BAY: Still on Mets' radar, but they'd better hurry.

BAY: Still on Mets' radar, but they'd better hurry.

The Mets are dealing with the fall out from the bombshell dealings of yesterday.

I don’t know if stonewalling Jason Bay was a ruse by the Red Sox to get John Lackey. I didn’t think they were going to get him anyway, and it has nothing to do with them misreading the pitching market.

Even so, they should be more aggressive in their pursuit for him if he’s their target. Let’s face it, he has to be because they aren’t going to give Matt Holliday what the Cardinals are reportedly willing to do.

If the Mets think Bay will “fall back” to them like Johan Santana did, they could be mistaken. The first impression, and I had it yesterday, was Seattle wouldn’t go for him because they’ll need the money for Cliff Lee.

Perhaps that was premature.

Wouldn’t Seattle be a little more enticing to Lee if there was power in that line-up? Maybe, with Lee, the Mariners see an opening to win this year and will still pursue Bay. Truth is, the Mariners haven’t said Bay is no longer an option.

And, what about the Angels? With Lackey gone and Halladay no longer an option, they have to be looking to do something. Bay was on their radar before. He might still be on it unless the Angels are bent on those middle-tier arms the Mets have been talking about. Truth is, for what they saved in Lackey, they might be able to swing both Bay and a pitcher. And, Bay has to be a better option than Hideki Matsui.
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