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Mets Hot Stove: More Wagner, Day 2

Mike SteffanosTuesday, November 22, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

I inadvertently left out a good article in Newsday from my earlier news recap:

Newsday: The Billy Wagner Tour
Ken Davidoff offers us the following info in today's Newsday: Billy Wagner answered, "yes, definitely," when asked if he could be happy in New York. The offer to Wagner right now looks like 3 years at $10 million per, but could possibly include a fourth year. Wagner again said he was in "no hurry" to sign.

The Mets would like to see Wagner sign ASAP, as they are holding off on a lot of their own decisions pending Wagner's. We keep hearing rumors that he might sign real soon, then we hear that this might drag on for a while longer. There is a rumor that the player's union wants Wagner to take the highest offer (almost undoubtedly from the Mets) and set the market for everyone else. We hear that Wagner would prefer to stay in Philly, but the pressure from the union might push him to Shea. If this is true -- and no one is saying he is dead set against New York -- I hope he doesn't come here. New York is a tough enough place to perform, especially in a closer's role, if your heart isn't 100% into it. Wagner is a tough guy, but I'd still prefer he goes with his top choice, wherever that takes him.

The danger here, of course, is that Wagner delays his choice and then doesn't come here, while in the meantime players who were Plan B for the Mets sign elsewhere. Stay tuned.

Outfield Defense
Related to my posting yesterday on the importance of defense in today's game, in that item on Fox Sports that I pointed to in the earlier news recap, Dayn Perry offers this on outfield defense:

The Mets erred in moving [Cameron] to right in deference to Beltran, but even at a corner slot, Cameron's glove was critical to the team's ability to keep runs off the board. That's because in 2005 the Mets' pitching staff ranked only 11th in the NL in groundball-fly ball ratio. That means lots of balls in the air, which, accordingly, means the quality of the outfield's defense is more important to the Mets than it is to most other teams. That outfield defense has been severely compromised by trading away Cameron.

Just something to think about.

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