By Mike Steffanos
Update (10:54 PM): It's Green after all. I have to admit that I still would have been happier with Alou, but the Mets have indeed acquired Shawn Green for minor-league lefty Evan MacLane. I wondered while I was taking my walk after posting this whether this was a ploy on Omar's part to pressure Arizona into completing the deal for Green. I'll wait until I read full details on the money to weigh in fully.
BTW -- SI.com's John Heyman says an Alou deal could still happen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
After all of the Shawn Green hype we've been getting for days, now SI.com's John Heyman is telling us that Green is just a fallback position if the Mets fail to land Moises Alou:
It appears now that Alou is actually the Mets' top outfield target, not Shawn Green, as previously thought. One person familiar with the discussions said he believes there's already a deal in place, contingent upon the Giants' final approval, which may still be a significant hurdle.
There is one big caveat: It is believed the Giants' approval may be dependent on San Francisco falling out the race. Should the Giants remain in it, San Francisco would likely hold onto Alou. San Francisco is currently five games out in the wild-card race and six games behind in the National League West.
League sources indicate the much-publicized Green discussion is actually a fallback option in case the Alou deal doesn't go through. Alou provides two major advantages over Green. For one, his contract expires after the season. For another, Alou's slugging percentage is .522 -- to .429 for Green.
... Alou's contract calls for him to make $6 million in 2006, with about $1.4 million remaining. He is also owed an additional $1.5 million, which has been deferred. It isn't believed the Mets would have to surrender significant pieces to acquire Alou.
Like Green, Alou has veto power over trades. It isn't known whether he'd accept a trade away from the Giants, who are managed by his father, Felipe, but going to the Mets would represent a significant chance to get to the World Series.
Alou would seem to make more sense for the Mets than Green. His right-handed bat would balance the lineup, and he's a better hitter than Green. An added benefit would be the fact that he isn't under contract for next year, allowing Omar much more flexibility this winter. What will tomorrow's hot rumor be? Stay tuned...