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Mets Hot Stove: Return of the Manny talk

Mike SteffanosThursday, December 22, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

Courtesy of the Yankees signing of Johnny Damon -- as we knew it would -- a resurgence of Manny rumors. This is a most unwelcome Christmas present. Meanwhile, we're still looking for bullpen help.

New York Post: Manny is sulking... again
Michael Morrissey reports that the Johnny Damon defection to the Bronx has Manny in quite a tizzy:

...Boston's bungling of the Johnny Damon negotiations has made Ramirez, the Red Sox left fielder, even more angry, a source said yesterday, and he's now open to a trade to the Mets.

The rest of the article actually seems to be more about how the Mets really are not pursuing Manny, but now they could be. I don't know whether the Damon thing has made a Manny deal more or less likely to happen, I just know that we're bound to see a bunch of these stories now. Actually, with what we know about Manny, would anyone be surprised if Manny doesn't figure out that Damon isn't on the team until spring training?

One thing is for sure, until the Sox get a centerfielder, some sort of Beltran/Manny deal will be the rumor d'jour. No one really mentions that the great Tike Redman becomes the top in-house centerfield candidate once Beltran goes. I don't know, with concerns about Pedro's health and the bridge to Billy Wagner still Aaron Heilman-and-a-prayer, do we really need this?

Daily News: Newly available pitchers
Adam Rubin reports that the 50 non-tendered free agents from yesterday present new opportunities for Omar Minaya to come up with a hidden gem for the bullpen, although the more attractive players seem to be the starting pitchers that the Mets don't need right now. Rubin quotes GM Omar Minaya on the opportunity presented:

I think this year has been one where there are a lot more [non-tendered] players on the market . Of course it can help you. It's another avenue of acquiring players. It can be useful if you're aggressive and know what you want.

Rubin cites a team insider that there didn't seem to be that much out there attractive to the Mets; however, Chad Bradford, cut loose by Boston, was of some interest. Bradford is a right-handed submarine pitcher. Willie loves those funky deliveries, but the Mets have a more desperate need for a left-handed specialist.

Happy Holidays, Everyone
I will try to post over the weekend if there is anything out there worth talking about. I hope of all of you have a safe and enjoyable Holiday season.

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