Chasing Carlos One and Two

The stakes are rising quickly. With only four days left for the Astros to resign their free agent Carlos Beltran, the Mets officially met with Beltran in his native Puerto Rico for a reported four hour session. It was also rumoured that they offered $100 million as an opening bid.

Lest one think this expedition stops at ONE Carlos, it should be noted that Met special assistant Tony Bernazard dropped this particular bombshell that the other Carlos; the slugging first baseman Carlos Delgado, is also being chased on this trip.

"Our interest is centered on Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado," Bernazard told the media. "We are still trying to determine if we should sign one or both."

One or both? Certainly too delicious to contemplate, netting a pair of Carlos' in one season.

In the meantime, speculation continues to run rampant that the Yankees can't afford Beltran any more with the recent acquisition of The Unit and won't be a player in the Beltran Sweepstakes.

Given a choice by King George between The Unit and Bernie Williams versus Javier Vasquez and Carlos Beltran, it is reported that the Yankee executives voted for Johnson/Williams. This was a budget strategy employed by King George between the 2000-2001 seasons, when he authorized acquiring either Mike Mussina or Manny Ramirez, but not both.

However, before exploding with glee at the possible bow-out of the Yankees, it should be noted that the same article ominously reported Detroit could still jump in with the boldest offer to make a run similar to how Texas landed Alex Rodriguez, another Scott Boras client. Somehow, the circumstances seem different this time around - it's doubtful Omar would let himself be outbid by the stinkin' Tigers of Detroit unless the Tigers offer a ridiculous sum similar to the one the Rangers gave A-Rod.


As if this were not enough speculative fuel for the fire, it was also reported that the Mets are were chasing Byong Hyun-Kim as a righty reliever in a trade with Boston. It should also be noted that this same report indicates this was part of an massive earlier-nixed deal that would have involved Manny Ramirez. Kim’s 2004 season was nearly a total loss to injury. He made just seven appearances (three starts) at the major league level, spending most of the year at Pawtucket, where he was 2-6 with a 5.39 ERA in 22 games (19 starts). An indication of how useless Kim would be is that he is also being chased by (gasp!) the Colorado Rockies.


Otherwise, the bullpen's lack of arms is alarming and there doesn't seem to be much promise yet on the horizan. On the other hand, Omar has his hands full with the Carlos deals and Don't Look Now, but here comes recent Met pick-up, righty reliever Manny Aybar, at least in the Dominican Winter League. Last night, he pitched 5 2/3 solid innings of one-hit winter ball along with 7 strikeouts as his team, the Tigres del Licey, used a total of 5 pitchers to shut out the Giants of Cibao, 4-0.

Hoy Digital described his performance as immense in defeating the Giants of Cibao starter, Damian Moss. Teammate Eric Byrnes had two hits in the winning effort.


Catcher Mike Piazza has been busy preparing for the coming season by attending Miami Heat games against the Seattle SuperSonics.

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