Several sources are now confirming that the New York Mets are on the verge of landing this year’s top free agent closer, Francisco Rodriguez.
Joel Sherman of the NY Post, first broke the story when he reported first hand comments from Rodriguez’s agent, Paul Kinzer.
“I am more optimistic than I have ever been” about finalizing a deal between the single-season save leader and the Mets.”
Kinzer would not divulge terms of the deal, except to indicate that it would be longer than the two-year with a vesting option that the Mets used as an opening salvo in negotiations. However, it is going to be well south of the five-year, $75 million mark that Kinzer was shooting for initially in this offseason. That would have been a record for a closer. But those dreams came before the nation’s economy tanked and began to seriously impact baseball, as well.
Kinzer indicated that a deal could get done before these Winter Meetings end Thursday. He said, “we will know more in the next 24 hours, but so far everything has been positive.”
Jon Heyman of SI.com is reporting that he believes the deal will be worth about $37 million dollars.
“After opening with an offer of about $24 million over two years plus a vesting option for a third year,” writes Heyman, ”the gap was closed when the Mets agreed to guarantee the third year.”
Heyman was a guest this morning on Boomer and Carton on WFAN and said,
“It’s as good as done and an announcement could come in a day, or an hour, or any minute.”
Yesterday afternoon, Francisco Rodriguez was seen chumming it up with Mets VP Tony Bernazard in the hotel lobby, and then later that evening he was observed again smiling and sharing a joke with a couple of Mets officials.
Like I have been saying over, and over again on this site,
“The Mets and K-Rod are a perfect marriage. Forget the ridiculous notions that the Mets will trade for a closer, it’s more fiction than fact. The Mets are only meeting with Fuentes and Wood to keep up appearances and have their sights clearly set on K-Rod.”
Stay tuned to Mets Merized Online, as we have our ear to the ground and will update this story as events warrant.
Once again, the Mets are on the verge of signing Francisco Rodriguez, and fulfilling their number one, top priority of signing a closer at the Winter Meetings!