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Mets Hot Stove: GM Meeting Concludes, Pursuit Begins

Mike SteffanosFriday, November 11, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

There's a lot out there today as the GM meetings in Indian Wells wrap up. Much of it is regarding the same names that all of us die-hard Met fans are already familiar. Personally, it will be a relief to get away from all of the speculation and watch what really starts to shake out. I'm a little burned out on all of the rumors.

Daily News: The search for a catcher

Bill Madden and Anthony McCarron report that, once the GM meeting finish up today, Omar and Tony Bernazard are flying to Arizona for one of those face-to-face meetings with Bengie Molina -- a tactic they used last year to good effect. They also report that Omar has spoken to Kenji Jojima's agent, and that if efforts to sign Molina or Jojima fail the fallback position is Ramon Hernandez. I found that interesting, considering the scuttlebutt all summer was that Hernandez was the top choice. There are rumors that Hernandez is pricing himself out of the market, especially considering the Mets are looking to fill so many needs this off-season.

Daily News: Omar not waiting for Manny

Madden and McCarron again report, this time quoting Omar that he's not waiting to see what happens with Manny and the Red Sox:

I don't know what's going to happen there, but I can't wait for that, I've got to move now. I've got a gigantic fishing net in the water. At the end of the day, I'm going to pull it up and see if there's anything in it. I want to move quickly on all the things we want to do. I can't afford to sit around and wait for people to come to me.

I appreciate what he's saying there, although the quote I enjoyed most about Manny appeared in an AP article by Roger Blum entitled Bosox May Find Limited Market for Ramirez. When asked if the White Sox were interested in Manny, GM Kenny Williams replied, "He's not that kind of guy, we have a certain kind of chemistry." I don't know about you, but I find the "quaint" idea that you actually care about the type of person you're getting pretty refreshing.

Daily News: Gary Cohen

Stepping away from the hot stove for a moment, Bob Raissman has a nice piece on Gary Cohen's new TV gig. I tend to agree with his premise that the SNY execs lucked into hiring the best man for the job. He also brings up the question that concerns many of us that know and love Cohen's work -- what happens once Gary starts criticizing the Mets to the larger TV audience. Is he going to be allowed to be himself, or will there be pressure put on by the Mets to muzzle him?

New York Post: Wagner and Manny

Mark Hale opines that the Mets' chances of landing Billy Wagner and Manny "have never looked better". With Wagner in particular you keep hearing that the Phillies might have blown their chance -- who knows, my thinking is it always comes down to money, especially in a situation like Wagner's where he is signing what is almost undoubtedly his last large contract. As for Manny, it still seems to be a question of whether he is really willing to come to New York. I'm personally hoping the answer is "no" and Manny will save the Mets from themselves.

Hale also reports that the Mets' desire to land Lugo and Baez from the Devil Dogs might grow to include a 3-way with Texas involving Adrian Gonzalez and Gerald Laird.

Newsday: Let the frenzy begin

Ken Davidoff reports now that teams are allowed to negotiate with other teams' free agents, Omar is likely to begin making actual offers. Wagner in particular, along with the rest of the usual suspects are mentioned here as Davidoff does his usual solid work.

New York Times: Ben Shpigel's take

Ben Shpigel also reports that the Mets will make an early offer to Wagner, comparing their pursuit to the Phillies' pursuit of Jim Thome in 2002.

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