An agent who has dealt extensively with the Mets in recent years laughed out loud at a question posed to him here at these winter meetings yesterday:
"So what do you think the Mets are doing?"
"If you go up to their suite and ask them," the agent said with a dismissive wave of his hand, "they don't know what they're doing."
It sure does seem that way. Met fans are just anxious for the Mets to make a move and all this talking Omar has done and all these people he's met with have amounted to nothing but what seems like hundreds of dead end rumors.
The Daily News says that all indications suggest Perez will be the starter to land in Flushing, rounding out a rotation with Tom Glavine, Kris Benson, Victor Zambrano and Steve Trachsel. Perez, a 27-year-old lefthander, went 7-6 with a 3.25 ERA in 31 starts for the Dodgers last season.
So to recap, the Mets may walk away with a pitcher that has had lukewarm interest from everyone and has only been rumored to draw interest from the Nationals and the Mets are closing in on Alou for a one year contract with a vested second year. The Mets have also jumped into the Eric Milton sweepstakes and think Shea's spacious outfield will help to cut back on his homers. However, evidence on that notion is contrary. In 200 games, he's give up 192 homers and has given up 35 or more in three of his six complete seasons in the majors. Is Milton or Perez a bad pickup? Not really, but again, not anything that will significantly upgrade this team. They do have to replace Leiter who has put up some pretty solid numbers and could conceivably actually do worse than he did.
The Mets sat down with Barry Larkin's agent yesterday, and there is interest in Larkin as a backup infielder . . . The Mets may sign Billy Koch to a minor-league deal.
Kock is worth the chance if there is no risk, but I have my doubts as his fastball no longer pumps into the mid to high 90's and travels as straight as an arrow. As far as Larkin? I guess it's no big deal, but I'd still rather have a shot at Rich Aurilla who I think will give more pop off the bench and be 32 years old as opposed to 40.
Meanwhile, a report in Tokyo's Sankei Sports revealed the Mets have strong interest in another Japanese infielder, 30-year-old second baseman Iguchi Tadahito, who plays for the Daiei Hawks. In his role as international scouting director for the Montreal Expos, Minaya was said to have fallen in love with Tadahito during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and has been following him ever since. He recently became a free agent and has told friends he wants to play in New York.
Is anyone else's head spinning from these rumors that make absolutely no sense? I know we hear lots of untrue things, but some things just cannot be comprehended. In the last few days Omar has said Kaz will most likely be on the team, Omar has been rumored to be moving Reyes back to 2nd and bring in Cabrera, trade Kaz for Bret Boone, bring in Iguchi Tadahito (I've read as a back up role possibly), or bring in Soriano. Either Omar is absolutely all over the place or 99% off the stuff we read has no shred of truth. I certainly hope it is the latter.