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In the last 12 hours,, the New York Post and the Daily News all reported that, while the Mets would like to sign free-agent RHP John Lackey, they will also pursue, and are more likely to sign, one or two starting pitchers from a group that includes Joel Pineiro, Ben Sheets, Jason Marquis and Randy Wolf.

By the way, be aware that Yahoo! is running a story that paraphrases the New York Post as having said, ‘Sheets is apparently at the top of the list for the Mets this off-season.’  However, the Post report does not say this at all.  Instead, the Post reports Pineiro is at the top of the team’s list, with Sheets simply among the group of middle-of-the-rotation starters being considered.

Nevertheless, I always find it interesting when three different media outlets report essentially the same story, with the same players being mentioned, citing roughly the same type of sources, all within a few hours of one another.  I will not believe it is a coincidence.

The thing is, I don’t think anybody really knows what the Mets are going to do, or can do, this off season.  They may think they know, and they may end up being right.  But, today, right now, I think it’s all just logical speculation, with a hint of direction from a source.

I say this, because, one day there is a report talking of how the Mets will spend money, the next day another says they won’t, which is followed by a report saying they will pursue Lackey, which is followed by reports that say they won’t, and then others are published saying they’ll do both, i.e., pursue Lackey and a middle-of-the-rotation starter, while others say they won’t.

Well, which is it?  Nobody knows.  I don’t think this means reporters are being duped, nor do I think it means the Mets are clueless.  Instead, I think it means what it should mean, which is that it’s early in the off season, the Mets have some money to spend, there are a lot of options and different ways to go, with more free agents likely to hit the market in four weeks, and so there is no point in rushing to make a move for the sake of making a move.

I mean, if Omar Minaya wants to sign Lackey, or he wants to trade for a pitcher, it would be wise to signal he is open to signing more than one of Pineiro, Sheets, Wolf and Marquis, who he also may genuinely be interested in.  The same can be said for Matt Holliday, with Jason Bay also on the market, and players like Carl Crawford and Jose Guillen maybe available in trade. 

In short, I believe the Mets are simply keeping their options open, which is exactly what they should be doing.

Tags: MetsBlog , Matthew Cerrone
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