About two weeks ago, several bloggers including myself, raised the specter of not getting too caught up in the Mets going after Angels closer, Frankie Rodriguez. Many different sources were cited and even some of the signals we were getting from the organization seemed to be in par with the Mets not really considering K-Rod as an option. Sure, for the sake of appearances, I’m sure Omar Minaya would have picked up the phone and kicked the tires a little on K-Rod, but most of us believed that paying Billy Wagner his millions and giving K-Rod $15 million more per year, was not something the organization was looking to do.
What a difference some fan outrage can make…
Since those revelations made headlines, the Mets front office has been taking a pounding on the airwaves and in print media as well. The debate became more heated when names like Jake Peavy and C.C. Sabathia were being linked to our division rivals, the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies.
The thought of seeing the Mets play this one on the cheap, has started to hit the team in the pocket as softening ticket sales for Citi Field raised some eyebrows. What was supposed to be a slam dunk, sold-out, maiden season for the new ball park, has now required some new measures such as sending out more letters to prior season ticket holders, only this time with attractive discounts and incentives. It has also led the team to rethink their softened position on increasing payroll.. The bottom line consensus is that now the Mets will once again be players this off season and the number one priority at the top of the shopping list will in fact be Frankie Rodriguez.
Several different sources who had first dismissed the Mets as buyers in the K-Rod sweepstakes, have reversed their positions and now look at the Mets as the frontrunner’s to land the much sought after closer.
Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal and others are among those who see the Mets pursuing K-Rod, and even Tim Dierkes from MLB Trade Rumors went as far as counting K-Rod among one of many moves the Mets will make this off season in a live chat.
And, not to discount the opinions of those three, Mets owner Jeff Wilpon, who was a guest on WFAN yesterday, validated the new rumors when he said,
“Omar Minaya will not be operating under any financial constraints in doing whatever is necessary to fix what is wrong with the Mets. We have confidence in Omar and he has no strict budget, he is the authority on what the Mets need to do and is in charge of our baseball operations.”
Jeff, even went as far as saying that if Omar Minaya came to him and decided he wanted Manny Ramirez, then that’s what they would do and they would not stand in the way of that.
So make out of all of this what you will, but it looks like the Mets will be keeping things very interesting this off season.
As for myself, I’m not buying into any of this until I actually see that wallet open up, and actually observe a press conference introducing K-Rod with the new Citi Field in the background.
This stuff is always cool to blog about, and it’s why I love the hot stove season so much, but while I like reporting my thoughts on these rumors, the truth is that in my gut, I only believe what I see.