According to sources, Minaya and K-Rod (and his agent, I assume) had a lengthy sit-down at a steakhouse last night. David Lennon reports the meeting was over four hours long. He also wrote "Minaya only smiled when asked whether an offer had been made."
Sly, Omar. Very sly.
I'm anticipating a quick signing of a closer so the Mets can move on to other things.
Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Mets will not make simultaneous offers to K-Rod, Brian Fuentes and Trevor Hoffman. Instead, they will likely offer it to their first choice (Rodriguez), and move down the line from there (Fuentes, Hoffman).
If nothing comes of that, I'm sure they'll turn to Kerry Wood before they look into a trade, as they don't want to give up any of their young talent if they don't have to.
Also: Check out this strangely appropriate Photoshop from a few months ago (two months to the day, exactly!).
The Winter Meetings start tomorrow. Prepare for news overload. Tune in here, as I will work as the filter between you and all the ridiculous news. If it's worthwhile, you'll read it here. If it's just rumors for the heck of rumors, I'll be sure you won't be bothered with it.
Olney takes some educated guesses on his blog, and proposes what he believes the Mets will offer to the top three closers on the market: Francisco Rodriguez, Brian Fuentes and Kerry Wood.
Francisco Rodriguez, three years and $36 million; Brian Fuentes, three years and $30 million; Kerry Wood, two years and $16 million to $18 million. The Mets are really sitting in a strong position, as perhaps the only big-market team intent on spending good money on a reliever, and their intention is to present the offers with this marching order: The first reliever who accepts our offer is going to be our closer.I am going to go out on the veritable limb here and say the Mets are going to sign K-Rod. I also think they're going to deal Aaron Heilman and someone else in a package for a good 8th inning guy either before or very soon after they land their closer.
On my Christmas list: A "Rodriguez" Mets jersey.
Here are the results...
Francisco Rodriguez -- 41%
Brian Fuentes -- 27%
Kerry Wood -- 13%
Other -- 11%
Bobby Jenks -- 4%
It was obvious that Rodriguez and Fuentes would top the list, but I am surprised how many more votes K-Rod garnered.
Also, Wood was not offered arbitration by the Chicago Cubs, meaning they will not receive draft picks when he signs elsewhere. Don't get that move. Seems like they're putting a lot of stock in Jeff Samardzija and Kevin Gregg.
Personally, I'd take any of them, as long as it doesn't cost too much. The Mets have too many other holes to fill to break the bank on the closer, even though they need one so desperately.
Next Poll: Who will be the breakout star in '09?
The Mets are taking their first steps toward a free agency signing, as they are planning to meet with the agents of Brian Fuentes and Francisco Rodriguez in the coming days. No money or years have been offered yet, but rumors have it that the Mets might be willing to dish out a four-year deal to land the closer they desire.
According to the running poll on the right, Mets fans are favoring Rodriguez by a nose, over Fuentes, Kerry Wood and Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Jenks. Two votes were notched for "Other," likely Huston Street, who the Mets could have had.
I believe the CC Sabathia sweepstakes is the hitch between most teams and the free agents their pursuing. Whatever Sabathia signs for, agents around the league will compare that to the possible offers and use that as a jumping off point.
Keep on waiting, because it doesn't seem like anything is going to happen anytime soon. Eventually, deal will get done, but we'll probably be waiting until December for that to happen.
The Marlins traded Kevin Gregg to the Chicago Cubs, which signifies another closer will be on the market. With Gregg now on the team, it's highly unlikely that the Cubs will re-sign Kerry Wood, another closing pitcher the Mets can take a look at.
I almost feel bad for Marlins fans, then I remember they have just as many World Series championships as the Mets do.
Here are some of the latest rumors involving the Mets...
Adam Rubin has an article in the Daily News where he explains that even though Omar Minaya came away empty handed (as did every other GM), "Minaya believes he has laid the groundwork for future deals."
From Rubin we got the usual two closing names with Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Fuentes. He also mentions Kerry Wood, who started all of last year for the Chicago Cubs and Chad Cordero, who we first hear rumors for yesterday. Cordero is still recovering from shoulder surgery, and a Met official told Rubin that he probably won't be ready for opening day and should expect a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training if the team decides to pursue.
As always, the Mets bullpen needs an overhaul, and the team is currently shopping Aaron Heilman, Scott Schoeneweis, and Pedro Feliciano.
According to Ken Davidoff:
There definitely will be takers for Heilman and Feliciano; among the teams that like Heilman at some level, are Oakland, Tampa Bay and Texas, and Feliciano has value to any club looking for a left-hander.
The Mets would be willing to pay some of the $3.6 million owed to Schoeneweis in 2009. They feel that Schoeneweis could have appeal to other clubs because of his strong numbers against lefty hitters (.520 OPS in 2008).
I think it's going to be pretty easy to unload these guys, if the Mets contact the right team. Heilman, who we all know has struggled, still garners interest due to his age and foreseeable talent.
Feliciano will be a target of a lot of teams due to which arm he uses to deliver pitches. Being a lefty never looked so good. And Schoeneweis caught some attention before the Aug. 31 trade deadling during the season, so if those teams (Tigers were the more interested) are still looking, I'd ship him out as soon as possible.
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Davidoff also breaks down what the Mets Plan A, Plan B and Plan C look like for this off-season.
Plan A entails signing K-Rod or Fuentes, Derek Lowe, and a "low-cost, high-ceiling pitcher (Freddy Garcia, for instance) to compete for the fifth starter's job with Jonathon Niese." Then, trade Heilman and Schoeneweis for some decent bullpen arms, pick up Raul Ibanez, trade Luis Castillo and sign Orlando Hudson.
Well, that'd be nice. That's definitely my Plan A as well, but I just don't think they have the payroll to add all those guys.
Check out the article for Plan B and C. (I like Plan B a lot as well.)
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Seems that looking in-house for a closer is the last resort for the Mets.
Davidoff (yes, again!) quotes Minaya in another article:
Asked yesterday if the Mets could turn within the organization for their closer - a youngster such as Eddie Kunz or Bobby Parnell, for instance - Minaya said, "That is not Plan One."Smart man, I just hope he doesn't disregard them altogether.