The clock is ticking, and at midnight tonight the Mets will no longer have exclusive negotiating rights with any of their own free agents.
Two of those free agents are second baseman Luis Castillo and catchers Paul Lo Duca and Ramon Castro.
The Houston Astros are expected to make a strong effort to sign Luis Castillo and are viewed as the favorites among the other teams that are expected to pursue the top second baseman in the free agent market.
As for Lo Duca, his agent is not happy about the fact that his client is being treated like second class citizen, but because Lo Duca wants so much to return to the mets, he is biting his tongue. Word is that the Rockies, Cubs, and Red Sox, are rumored to have interest in the fiery catcher.
The Rockies also have interest in Ramon Castor and view him as an option as starting catcher if they fail to re-sign Yorvit Torrealba.
Last week I blogged about the prospect of the Mets taking a shot on Japanese pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. Today, Pat Gillick confirmed the team has a legitimate interest in righthander Hiroki Kuroda, who formally filed for free agency from the Hiroshima Carp, as reported by the Philadelphia Daily News. Kuroda, who was 12-8 with a 3.56 earned run average for the Carp last season, would not require a posting fee. (source: CBS Sportsline)