The Saturday Rumor Mill
"We have told the agent that, 'Look, we're trying to get this done, but it gets to the point where if it doesn't happen we're just not going to wait,'" Minaya said. "We will be proactive in filling that slot. We would like to do it with Kris, but if we don't do it with Kris, if somebody shows up there that's at a number that we feel fits, then we'll have to do what we have to do."
Do not let Benson and his agent bend you over Omar. I like how he is handling this and although the rumors about Soriano and Sosa are not going away (if not getting stronger) I still think Omar is just listening to every possible move out there. The Soriano deal looks so remote since he would rather retire than move to the outfield. Would Minaya be doing his job if he did not explore every avenue? If Minaya cannot land Beltran, Ordonez, Drew, or Guillen then he is probably exploring Sosa and Soriano as a last resort. If the Mets could not get ANYONE else and Sosa would waive his option for 2006 and the Cubs even out the money so the Mets do not take on any additional payroll, then this deal would not be horrible. I am by no means saying I want Sosa, but if plan A though plan Y fails, then plan Z is better than another year of a Garcia/Spencer type deal if the Mets do not have to carry the burden of Sosa's silly contract.
Leiter is concerned the Mets are only making a token offer to keep him around for sentimental reasons, whereas other teams, including the Yankees, seem eager to sign him. ...
Al, it was a token offer. Deal with it and go get fitted for you pinstripes. Make room for some youth and someone that does not throw 1 ball for every 1 strike thrown.
Sexson doesn't re-sign with Arizona, the New York Mets are believed to possibly have the inside track on the power hitter, who is coming off major shoulder surgery. The Seattle Mariners, thought by many to be the favorite to land Sexson, are targeting Blue Jays free agent Carlos Delgado as their top choice among available first basemen. Sexson is said to be their second pick.
That is the first time I heard that the Mets have the inside track on Richie.
Although, if signing a veteran starter means the Devil Rays need to move Aubrey Huff for some room on the payroll, I'm all for it.
Don't be so sure the Yankees will be willing to give Beltran whatever he wants -- or that Boss Steinbrenner is so desperate to win now that he'll be throwing money around like confetti.
One baseball man says the Yankees' payroll will be watched very carefully by MLB this winter -- because 1) Bud Selig's debt rules will, for the first time, be strictly enforced and 2) MLB continues to make noises that the Yankees are underestimating the true value of the YES network.
So if the Yankees are going to have a payroll north of $200 million -- plus pay another $100 million in luxury-tax and revenue-sharing bills -- they need to prove to the commish that they have more than $300 million in revenue to pay for it all.
But they're reporting to MLB that they make "only" $50 million a year from their own personal cable venture. The skeptics at MLB, on the other hand, have been quietly investigating to see if they're actually taking in a lot more.
So if they run up $300 million in bills next year while they're only claiming, say, $250 million in revenues, then the debt-rule police will start blowing their whistles.
Which could mean, believe it or not, that even the Yankees have their limits. Sheez, what's the world coming to?
Stark's article also delves into the money that Beltran may be paid.
We've been surveying agents and club officials from both leagues on this. And no one has predicted Beltran will wind up averaging more than the $14-15 million a year that Jim Thome and Vladimir Guerrero got as the marquee names on the market in the previous two winters.
If that is the price tag, the Mets should surely be able to put together a comparable package to Beltran. The rest will be up to Carlos. It is increasingly looking like he'll have four or five offers basically identical in years and cash and it will be up to him to choose. Now that scenario does not leave the Mets in good standing with all the soap opera like antics that have been going on in Flushing the past few years. Can Omar sell the idea that the Mets are on the right track to prominent free agents?
The 2005 payroll may end up surpassing $100 million, but don't expect the Mets to be spending $120 to $130 million the way they were a few years back. The only free agent New York definitely won't be bringing back is former captain John Franco, so there will be no money saved on that front.
Now since Wilpon lost $20 million in 2003, it stands to reason he tried to make some of that back in 2004. Now, all bets are off. May end up surpassing $100 million? That would give Minaya roughly $30-$35 million to work with to upgrade a team with a solid foundation. I am not suggesting that Omar exhaust his budget just to spend the money, but there are just too many attractive moves out there for the Mets.
$7 million for Clement
$10 million for Magglio
$5 million for Olerud (probably a bit high)
$7 million for Benson
$6 million for the bench and bullpen
Doable? Sure is. Especially if the Mets can move Floyd and not pick up the entire salary. That should leave the Mets a touch under $100 million and some extra wiggle room. The markets for Clement and Magglio do not appear too big with Clement drawing the most interest from the AL Central and Magglio drawing interest from the Orioles, who cannot offer him a mega contract like they did to Tejada. But just so I know, tell me why the Orioles are not spending every free cent on their rotation?