Mets look at trio of Cardinals FA's
By JOEL SHERMAN
New York Post
CHICAGO - Omar Minaya met with Scott Boras for 45 minutes last night to begin to determine the price on Matt Holliday.
The meeting comes at a time when the Mets are still debating whether to big-game hunt this offseason for offense (Jason Bay or Holliday) or simply augment around their core of fragile, but talented players.
"We need a left fielder and two of the best are in the [free-agent] market," one Mets executive said. "We are not doing our jobs if we don't look into it." Another official said he thought the Mets were not averse to giving a contract for as many as six years to a player of Holliday's ilk. However, officials from other teams who have talked to the Mets said they expect the team to be much more cautious with their dollars.
Boras is portraying Holliday as "a franchise player" and comparing his value to that of Mark Teixeira, who received an eight-year, $180 million deal last offseason from the Yankees.
Also, Boras disputed the theory that Holliday does not want to play at Citi Field. Boras said Holliday is a line-drive hitter who would be helped by the deep gaps, which might depress homers but enhance doubles. Boras guaranteed his client would be a 100 RBI/100 run guy in Citi Field.
Boras also spoke to the Mets about retaining Alex Cora, and about free agents Jarrod Washburn and Rick Ankiel.
The Mets' priority list in order is a slugging left fielder, a high-end starting pitcher and a regular catcher. But a Mets executive said that if the club cannot land a significant left fielder they could spend more on a starter such as free agent John Lackey. For now, the Mets more are contemplating a mid-rotation type starter such as Randy Wolf, Joel Pineiro, Jason Marquis and Washburn.
Regardless of what happens in left field, the Mets would also like to add some power behind the plate. At the moment, free agent Bengie Molina tops their list. The Mets also have interest in trading for Arizona's Chris Snyder and, to a lesser degree, free agent Rod Barajas.
Giants officials say that they want to retain Molina on a one-year contract to serve as a mentor/bridge to top prospect Buster Posey. However, these officials fear the Mets will make a multi-year proposal to Molina. The Mets want to keep such a deal to two years.
After the 2005 season, the Mets targeted Molina, with Minaya and assistants Tony Bernazard and John Ricco driving to his home in Yuma, Ariz., to recruit him. But both Molina and Ramon Hernandez became too pricey and so the Mets turned to Paul Lo Duca.
Molina hit a career-high 20 homers last year, and played his home games in the kind of offensively challenging park in San Francisco that he would have to cope with in Flushing.
The Mets tried to interest Arizona in a swap of Luis Castillo for Snyder, but that initial foray proved unsuccessful. The Mets have concern about Snyder after back surgery, though Arizona officials claim he will be ready in full in spring training. With his back problems, Snyder hit just .200 last year. He hit 16 homers the year before. Snyder is owed $4.75 million next year, $5.75 million in 2011 and a $6.75 million option in 2012 with a $750,000 buyout.