By Adam Warner
All along I have kind of expected Omar to land Zito. Or at least hoped. And I totally agree with Mike; it would be nice, but we'll manage with or without.
I would note though there is huge incentive for many parties to strike up the Yankee rumors. Scott Boras for obvious reasons. The Rangers may or may not have moved on, and Zito may or may not have any interest in pitching in such an extreme hitter's park nowhere near the Coasts.
But the Yankees too stand to gain whispering that they may now have their toe in. Even if they have zero interest. If they force the Mets or Rangers into an extra year and/or an extra $10-20 million, that could ultimately translate into some benefit when they chase the next big name. And it gets them on Boras' good side as well.
Plus the whole concept of the Yankees clearing salary room or a pitching slot is a joke. Last I checked, they never let some coin or a backlog at any position dissuade them from adding players. Particularly starting pitchers.
And even if I am wrong and they are saving some space, it's highly likely it's for Clemens and not Zito.
So yeah, this may end up costing the Mets more money. If in fact The Unit moves west before Zito makes his decision. But I am VERY dubious of these self-serving Yankee rumors.