Stroke Of Midnight: Luis Castillo & Paul Lo Duca Are Now Free To Negotiate With All Teams

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)

About Joe D 7944 Articles
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.