Mets Winter Meetings Update: Guarantees, Wheeler, Van Slyke, Hairston Jr.

An article by posted on December 6, 2010

Mets Are Wheeling and Dealing?

According to Steve Phillips in a post to AOL Fanhouse, free agent reliever Dan Wheeler is drawing interest from several teams including the Diamondbacks, Cubs, Red Sox and the Mets.

Wheeler is an 11-year veteran who had been with Tampa Bay since being traded by Houston during the 2007 season. Wheeler was a consistent cog in the Rays bullpen the last three seasons, posting a WHIP under 1.000 in 2008 and 2009 and coming in just above that line this season.

He made $3.5 million in 2010 and was not offered arbitration. If you look at it from the standpoint of either giving Feliciano $4 million which the Mets were willing to do, or Dan Wheeler $4 million, I’d rather have Dan Wheeler who can get both Lefthanded batters as well as righthanded batters out and could possibly be a solid setup man for K-Rod.

Jeepers, Creepers

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Mets need to keep their “eyes” on infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. He does play several positions, and may not be a bad option for the Mets, but a lot of that will depend on what they do with Luis Castillo, Daniel Murphy, etc.

Last season, Hairston batted .244 with 10 homeruns and 50 RBIs in 119 games for the Padres.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

The Mets new GM Sandy Alderson guaranteed that he would return with new players from the Winter Meetings, before leaving for Orlando on Sunday. Today he kept his word as the Mets announced the signings of infielder Russ Adams and catcher Dusty Ryan to minor league contracts with spring training invites.

Ryan, 26, hit .199 with seven home runs in 89 games last season for Triple-A Portland. He also possesses some Major League experience, having played in 27 games over parts of two seasons with the Tigers.

Adams, 30, hit .264 in 108 games for Triple-A Buffalo last season, after signing with the Mets as a Minor League free agent last December. A former first-round Draft pick, Adams has appeared in 286 big league games over parts of five seasons with the Blue Jays.

Van Slyke Leading Off For The Mets

Terry Collins is in Orlando and said that Andy Van Slyke is the first candidate being interviewed this afternoon for the open Mets hitting coach job. He added that there are three other candidates that they are considering.

Van Slyke, 49, recently served four seasons as first-base coach under Jim Leyland in Detroit, but has never been a Major League hitting coach. A five-time Gold Glove-winning center fielder and two-time Silver Slugger, Van Slyke hit .274 with 164 home runs over a 13-season career split mainly between the Cardinals and Pirates.

“I know he’s a real, real bright guy and played the game right, studied the game,” said new Mets manager Terry Collins, who coached Van Slyke in Pittsburgh. “So I wanted to talk to him about this job.”

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