By Mike Steffanos
Happy New Year to all. Some Mets news items to share for those of you nursing your hangovers:
New York Post: Baez and Lugo
Joel Sherman informs us that the Mets are still working to acquire Danys Baez from Tampa Bay, and still have hopes of getting the Devil Dogs to take Kaz Matsui off their hands as part of a deal for Julio Lugo. Of course, in this scenario, the Mets would pay most of Matsui's salary. According to Sherman, the Mets have competition to dealing for Lugo:
The Red Sox have been asking the Devil Rays to hold onto Lugo until Baltimore resolves what it is going to do with Miguel Tejada, and the Orioles have told interested teams they need their best offers for the star shortstop this week... But if the Red Sox are unable to land Tejada, they consider Lugo their top fallback position over free agent Alex Gonzalez, formerly of the Marlins. The Devil Rays, however, have let all interested clubs know they are not waiting for other teams to do business. Therefore, the Mets are trying to close a deal quickly by including a third team in trade talks with the Devil Rays, but that team is neither the Orioles nor the Red Sox. [my emphasis]
Now that's interesting. With all of the brouhaha this week over the supposed huge Manny Ramirez/Miguel Tejada multi-team mega-deal, how ironic it would be if it just led to your average, everyday baseball trade.
And, in regards to that mega-deal, Sherman offers the following:
There have been reports that the Mets, Orioles, Red Sox and Devil Rays have been working on a four-way deal that would ultimately bring Ramirez to the Mets. However, at least one top official from each of those teams denied four-way trade talks. One of the executives went as far as to call it "bogus bull[bleep]." Another executive said yesterday this was the first he was hearing of the four-way possibility.
In fact, Met officials have not spoken with their Red Sox counterparts since the winter meetings. Mets GM Omar Minaya is clearly infatuated with acquiring Ramirez, and tried to obtain Tejada so he could turn around and deal him to Boston to obtain Ramirez. But the Orioles have told the Mets that if David Wright or Jose Reyes are not included in the discussion, they will not move Tejada to the Mets. And the Mets told the Orioles that those players are off limits.
There are trade talks going on in baseball all the time -- all kinds of talks that have varying levels of seriousness and probability of ever happening. It was fun this past week to have something to talk about in what would have been an extremely slow news period. The web site that started all of these rumors, Gotham Baseball, gave that to us in return for what they wanted -- a lot of publicity. They have a self-congratulatory piece up on their web site patting themselves on the back for their accomplishment. I won't provide a link to it this time; you can find it yourself fairly easily if you feel you must.
Daily News: Manny Mega-deal will be hard
Roger Rubin also reports on the possible pitfalls of a mega-deal, although he looks at it from a standpoint of what might make it actually happen.
Mets.com: Looking ahead to the 2006 season
Marty Noble provides a look at what the Mets have accomplished so far this off-season, what still needs to be done, and what it all means for 2006.