Here’s a round-up of the day’s Hot Stove rumors and transactions.
Rich Harden SP – Several reports today suggest that Rich Harden is drawing heavy interest from the Red Sox and the Mariners. Harden was not offered arbitration and the 28-year old righthander has become much more desirable in the eyes of many. Of the second tiered free agent starters after John Lackey, I consider harden to be the best and most talented of the group.
Roy Halladay SP – According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Yankees and Blue Jays have discussed a deal and Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero and Austin Jackson were all mentioned. The Angels are also interested and are considered a dark horse. At this point I’m convinced the Mets will not get Halladay, so the only thing I hope for now is that he doesn’t end up with the Phillies or Yankees.
Jermaine Dye OF - According to the Sun-Times, several teams are interested in free agent outfielder Jermaine Dye including the Yankees who requested medical reports. It sounds like posturing to me. The Rangers, Red Sox, Cardinals and Giants are also interested. I’d rather stick with Pagan than to sign Dye to a multi year deal myself.
Orlando Hudson 2B – The Mets are not alone in their interest in the 2009 Gold Glove second baseman. Add the Mariners to the list of teams that will pursue Hudson. If the Mets want in, they better make a move with Castillo fast. I like Hudson a lot, but I like Polanco a whole lot better.
Jason Bay OF – Gordon Edes said that the Red Sox still prefer Bay to Matt Holliday. That’s not stopping the Red Sox from looking at other options. Bay’s agent said he will not wait for Holliday to sign before securing a deal for Bay. It’s shocking how little Jason Bay’s name appears in Mets rumors. You would think he’d be very high on the Mets wish list. Defense aside, he fits the mold of what the Mets need as a cleanup hitter, and his glove isn’t exactly gonna kill you.
Ryan Doumit C – Lots of buzz surrounding catchers this week, and Fox reports that the Blue Jays are interested in dealing for the young Pirates catcher. Doumit slipped a little in 2009, but he has plenty of upside and would be under a teams control for two more years at a very reasonable contract. I sure wish the Mets would take a look.
Bengie Molina C – Finally some Mets news… Jon Heyman says that the Mets are the “heavy favorite” to sign free agent catcher Bengie Molina this offseason. The Giants did not offer Molina salary arbitration, which means the Mets don’t lose a draft pick. The 35-year old Molina is looking for a 2-3 year deal. If that’s what he wants, I’d pass. At some point we have to stop overpaying players past their prime right? We need to start getting value like the Phillies and Braves.
J.J. Putz RP – Don’t look now, but the Philadelphia Phillies are hot on the trail of the former Mets setup man. The Mets paid dearly to land Putz last season, but the Phillies will not have to give up anything for him, and they’ll pay him less too. Like I always say, it’s all about the value.
Milton Bradley OF – According to Joel Sherman, the Rays and Cubs are discussing a swap of Milton Bradley and Pat Burrell. Please God, let this happen so that I no longer have to hear the ridiculous rumors that have the Mets interested in either of these slugs.
Let me know if you enjoy these Hot Stove recaps, and I’ll continue posting them through the end of the Winter Meetings at which point I’ll go from a daily format to a weekly format each Friday. I think it’s a good way to catch up on anything you might have missed, and it could serve as a thread for some interesting Hot Stove debate.
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