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Mets Hot Stove: Plan B Signs with the Blue Jays

Mike SteffanosSaturday, November 26, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

B.J. Ryan is close to signing a 5 year deal with the Blue Jays, and suddenly it doesn't seem quite so certain that Wagner will sign with the Mets soon. Meanwhile, Omar makes the unusual move of offering contracts to both Bengie Molina and Roberto Hernandez on the same day.

AP: 5 Year Deal for Ryan
Ronald Blum reports for the Associated Press that the Toronto Blue Jays and closer B.J. Ryan have come to a preliminary agreement on a 5 year, $47 million deal. Other places have them close to an agreement, but not quite there yet. Since Ryan is Plan B for both the Mets and the Phillies, this should certainly intensify the negotiations with Wagner, as well as driving his price up. With Thome gone, the Phillies should certainly have some more money available to throw at Wagner.

There has been some speculation that Wagner might sign with the Mets as early as the beginning of next week, but with this development you would think Wagner would be more patient. Credit to Toronto, who decided they weren't just going to sit around and wait for whoever was left after the other teams took the players that they wanted.

Daily News: 2 Offers, 1 Job
Anthony McCarron reports on the unusual double offer that Omar Minaya has made to free agent catchers Bengie Molina and Roberto Hernandez. The deals are both 3 year packages for $5-6 million per year. Minaya says that he let both catchers know what he is doing and indicated that he expected further negotiating, i.e. both deals are preliminary.

It's certainly an unusual move on Omar's part. It's usually the player and his agent playing more than one club against each other. This has the look of the opposite. Of course, there are suitors besides the Mets for both players.

One of Molina's representatives, Alan Nero, is quoted that Molina is truly interested in playing for the Mets, given the right deal, of course:

Bengie really likes the pitching staff. He's interested in catching Pedro.

Mets.com: More on the catchers
At the Mets' official web site, Marty Noble reports on the double offer, stating the opinion that the signing of Delgado and the possible signing of Billy Wagner would make the Mets more attractive to them. Noble also states the Mets' preference would be Hernandez, with concerns over Molina's conditioning.

Noble reports that Minaya assured reporters that the Mets do have a budget, although he neglected to provide a dollar figure to them. It's probably not wise to let everyone else in baseball know exactly what you plan to do. Omar also actually acknowledged that shedding Cameron's contract put the Mets in a better position to sign Delgado. We're shocked by this revelation.

Newsday: Salary Clearing Options
Ken Davidoff, in a story primarily about the offers to Molina and Hernandez, also talks about other deals the Mets can pursue, especially if they shed more salary. He quotes Minaya that, "there are clubs interested in our guys who make money." Davidoff mentions Steve Trachsel and Kris Benson as two possible candidates. This is interesting, as Benson has been primarily mentioned as being traded for Arizona pitcher Javier Vazquez, which would actually increase payroll for the Mets.

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