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Mets Hot Stove: Quick Bites

Mike SteffanosTuesday, November 15, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

Nothing huge cooking out there this morning, but a few tidbits:

Daily News: Wagner

Adam Rubin reports on the upcoming visits of free agents Billy Wagner and Kenji Jojima, stating that the Mets might be willing to go to a fourth year with Wagner if that's what it takes. Wagner will be visiting Monday and Tuesday, with a Mets offer coming afterwards.

Rubin also offers the nugget that the Padres are interested in trading for Cameron and offering set-up man Akinori Otsuka in the package. According to Rubin the Mets "appear more inclined to use Cameron to obtain a slugger." From my own point of view, a gold glove CF than can hit 25 home runs is worth more than a middle reliever or two. I know there are questions about Cameron's recovery, but if the Mets have to wait until late in spring training or even early in the season to make a Cameron deal that's what they should do.

New York Post: Two important decisions

Mark Hale also reports on Wagner's visit, with the speculation that Wagner might receive up to $10.5 million a year for 3 years from the team that wins the sweepstakes. That's an awful lot of money for a closer not named Rivera or Gagne. If you want to know why I've been so critical of the Mets for never developing their own closers, this is why. Wagner's agent also is looking for a no-trade clause and "at least" 3 years on any deal.

More importantly, Hale points out that today is the last day for the Mets to pick up the options on Kaz Ishii and Felix Heredia.

Javier Vasquez
I've been reading and hearing rumors that Javier Vasquez wants to come back east, and wants a trade to the Mets to reunite with Omar. I've always liked this guy; I thought it was a good move when the Yankees picked him up. I don't believe his failure in the Bronx was due to the pressure of pitching in New York. He got off to a fine first half, then developed some mechanical flaws that they weren't able to straighten out. I thought the Yankees were foolish not to be a little patient with him, but that's the Yankees m.o. with young pitchers.

I don't know what Arizona would want in return for Javy, but I think it's worth considering. Vasquez has better stuff than anyone but Pedro on the Mets' staff, and he doesn't walk anybody. He gives up way too many home runs -- it won't be so bad in Shea, but potential disaster in a big road game in Philly.

Bottom Line: if Peterson thinks he can help Vasquez to cut the gophers balls down, you have to look at it. I firmly believe the Mets absolutely need to upgrade their starting pitching if they want to win it all in the next 2-3 years. Vasquez could possibly make sense if Arizona doesn't ask for too much.

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