- The Newark Star-Ledger reports the Mets have arranged a series of meetings with agent Scott Boras to take place at the winter meetings in Phoenix over the next two days. Rumored to be tops on the list of things to discuss is Boras' client, free agent starting pitcher Kevin Millwood. Millwood is said to be seeking a deal of more length and value than the four-year-$40 million deal he rejected from Atlanta last off-season. The meeting with Boras is expected to be more of a probing session than an official negotiation.
- Mike Piazza is scheduled to meet with his agent over the next week to discuss the catcher's intentions with the New York Mets, suggests the Bergen Record. On the table for discussion is said to be whether or not Piazza has interest in moving to first base and, regardless of his decision, would he instead prefer a trade to an American League team if the Mets plan on rebuilding over the remaining years of his contract.
- The NY Post claims the Mets choices for filling the vacant closer role are Billy Koch, first, than Keith Foulke. Foulke's agent has said the Mets have called at least twice to inquire about his client's interest in New York. Duquette is also expected make good use of his time in Phoenix alongside White Sox general manager, Ken Williams, to explore a possible Roger Cedeno for Keith Foulke deal.
- The Post also claims Mike Cameron's agent, Mike Nicotera, as stating his client plans to take his time this off-season weighing his options, and that a decision as to where he will play in 2004 will come much later than sooner.
- Lastly, CONGRATULATIONS to Jose Reyes and Ty Wigginton. Both received one third-place vote in the Rookie of the Year balloting. Jason Phillips, however, received none.
The Mets should be very careful about overpaying for Millwood, which is unlikely to happen based on most of the reiterated public statements by the team's management. Millwood has only posted a sub 4.00 ERA once in the last four years, during which he is 49-40. Many are also concerned about his second half performance last season when he went 4-6 with a 4.58 ERA during a time when the Phillies were contending down the stretch for a wild card spot. He is undoubtedly a front-of-the-rotation pitcher, but has never shown that he deserves a deal in the area of $50 million over four years.
Piazza is due $15 million each of the next two seasons, which is a hefty price to pay for an aging catcher. Should he decide he would prefer to play elsewhere, and not at first base, it would appear only the Orioles and A's would have room for him. In the end, it seems moving Piazza would be too difficult from both a logistical and public relations standpoint.