The Mets are one of five teams on free-agent pitcher Mark Buehrle’s list of finalists, according to an industry source. The Rangers and Marlins are also on the list.
After losing shortstop Jose Reyes to the Marlins, the Mets have $20-25 million to spend on player acquisitions, freeing them up to pursue higher-caliber pitching than they once thought possible.
The Mets are strong players for right-handed reliever Octavio Dotel, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions. Dotel, who celebrated his 38th birthday last week, posted a 2.61 ERA for the Cardinals in October after compiling a 3.28 ERA, 32 strikeouts and five walks for St. Louis in 24 2/3 innings this season.
A former closer who saved 21 games for the Pirates in 2010, Dotel could potentially assume that same job in New York or slide into a setup role. General manager Sandy Alderson has not ruled out signing more than one free-agent reliever to bolster the back end of his bullpen.
But the Mets are not the only team wooing Dotel . The Cardinals have also expressed interest after the 13-year veteran played a significant role in their World Series run following a midseason trade from Toronto.
The Mets have made it clear that they have no desire to give up compensatory Draft picks in order to sign ranked free agents, which originally precluded them from pursuing Dotel. But Dotel’s Elias ranking was recently reduced from Type A to Type B as part of baseball’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement, meaning the Mets would not have to give up a Draft pick to sign him. The Cardinals did not offer Dotel arbitration, but will receive a supplemental-round pick should he sign elsewhere.
As for the Mets, they have already missed out on Joe Nathan and Jonathan Broxton, two former closers coming off injuries who signed with the Rangers and Royals, respectively. Still, plenty of closer candidates remain at large, including Dotel, Brad Lidge, Matt Capps, Frank Francisco and Francisco Cordero.
The Mets originally signed Dotel as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 1993. He made his Major League debut for them as a starting pitcher six years later, before making his career as a reliever with the Astros, A’s, Yankees, Royals, Braves, White Sox, Pirates, Dodgers, Rockies, Blue Jays and Cardinals.
After officially announcing the trade of Carlos Beltran to the Giants Thursday afternoon, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said that, barring something unforeseen, he is done moving players prior to this weekend’s non-waiver deadline.
“By trading Carlos, we’ve made it a little tougher on our remaining players and the Mets club,” Alderson said. “There’s no question about that. I certainly acknowledge that. On the other hand, we have a pretty tough group and lots of highly motivated players, and I think that’s been evidenced throughout the season in the face of much other adversity, losing players to injury, slumps. The team as a whole has responded extraordinarily well in almost every situation, and I think that’s a tribute to Terry and the coaching staff but also most importantly the players.
“I’d be very reluctant to make it any tougher on them. I really have some confidence, real confidence, that this group is going to respond to this change, as they have to other situations earlier in the year. I really believe that this group still has the kind of persistence and tenacity that could lead them to some positive things this year.
“To make a long story short, unless something extraordinary were to come up, I wouldn’t rule it out. But for me personally, I’m reluctant to make many other changes. I like the group that we have. I like the remaining players. I’ve got a lot of confidence in them and would like to see what they can do.”
Various reports this afternoon are putting Carlos Beltran in a Giants uniform, possibly as soon as today. Multiple Mets officials declined comment, though multiple published reports have indicated the deal is centered around either right-handed pitcher Zack Wheeler or outfielder Gary Brown.
Beltran has already said that he would waive his no-trade clause to join the Giants.
The Rangers are out of the running for outfielder Carlos Beltran, according to a tweet from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, who also identified the Giants as frontrunners for the Mets outfielder.
Along with the Giants, Braves, Phillies and Red Sox, the Rangers had been one of five teams seemingly most likely to swing a deal for Beltran prior to this weekend’s non-waiver Trade Deadline. Beltran has said publicly that he would waive his no-trade clause to join any of those clubs.
Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran said Tuesday that his agent, Scott Boras, never asked him if he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to join the Indians. MLB.com’s Peter Gammons wrote a column earlier Tuesday divulging details of the potential deal.
“No one has come to me,” Beltran said after Tuesday’s victory over the Reds. “When they come to me, we can talk about it.”
The Giants, Rangers, Braves, Phillies, Red Sox and Brewers reportedly remain the leading candidates to land Beltran prior to Sunday’s deadline. He has already said publicly that he would waive his no-trade clause to join any of the first five teams on that list.
The Mets have decided not to trade right-handed reliever Jason Isringhausen, SI’s Jon Heyman tweeted Thursday morning. That information is contradictory to the ongoing assumption that the team would attempt to deal Isringhausen, as well as Carlos Beltran and Tim Byrdak, prior to this month’s non-waiver deadline.
Heyman tweeted that the Mets want Isringhausen to stick around as a mentor for 26-year-old Bobby Parnell, whom the team considers its closer of the future. If true, the news would certainly be welcome to Isringhausen, who wants to record his 300th save with the Mets in New York. Recently named the head of a closer-by-committee situation, Isringhausen earned his first career save with the Mets in 1999, and now sits six shy of 300.
The Phillies had a scout attend Tuesday’s Mets-Cardinals game to watch outfielders Carlos Beltran and Scott Hairston and left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak, according to ESPN New York. Scouts have been unable to watch Beltran in recent days due to the illness that has kept him out of New York’s lineup.
Beltran leads a long list of Mets players that the team could consider trading in the next two weeks. He, Byrdak, Isringhausen, Hairston and Willie Harris could all receive looks from teams seeking pitching and bench help. The Mets, however, remain adamant in their reluctance to deal shortstop Jose Reyes.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson called a New York Post report that he has warmed to the idea of re-signing Jose Reyes “one man’s opinion,” and offered no further comment. Citing two unnamed sources, the Post reported Monday that Alderson has seen enough of Reyes to feel comfortable offering a long-term contract extension.
That, of course, will remain no more than speculation for at least three more months. The Reyes camp recently announced that it will not enter into any negotiations until after the season.