By Mike Steffanos
In today's New York Post, Mark Hale cites a source with the Mets that they will not be pursuing free agents Barry Zito or Alfonso Soriano or seek to deal for Manny Ramirez this winter. Hale gives the following reasons for each:
The Mets will need a top starter and possibly a second baseman and left fielder, but they apparently are not interested in Zito, Soriano and Ramirez, three big names who have been linked to the Mets over the past few seasons.
Zito is represented by Scott Boras, and the Mets - according to the source - estimate the left-hander will soar out of their price range. Zito could get at least $70 million over five seasons.
... As for Soriano, the source indicated the lack of interest would not be because of money. Rather, the person said the Mets have not pursued Soriano that much in the past.
... Boston, knowing that Ramirez and David Ortiz represent its strength, would move Ramirez only if a team paid the rest of his hefty contract and also traded the Sox multiple top young players.
Boston also would have to know it could find a big bat to hit behind Ortiz. Accomplishing those three items is unlikely, the Red Sox believe, which means Ramirez will likely stay in Boston.
I'm not really shocked by any of this, as Minaya indicated even two years ago that pursuing big name, big contract players was not going to be the modus operandi for the Mets going into the future. Still, some of this could be a bluff, but I see Manny as extremely unlikely given what Boston is seeking, and I'm not convinced that Barry Zito is really a true ace. We've been reading for a while that the Mets didn't have as much interest in the southpaw as the media was indicating. I'm curious to find out what some of you think on this subject -- not so much whether you want one of these three, but whether you think the Mets lack of interest is genuine or a negotiating ploy.
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