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December 9, 2008 at 10:15 am ET
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Mets Close to Closer; Minaya Prays Gaping, Life-Sucking Holes “Just Go Away”

The hell with a soft economy.  So sayeth the ever-generous New York Mets.

Continuing their recent trend of massive free agent contracts, the Mets are close to finalizing a three-year deal — an increase over the two years and $24 million the team is said to have initially offered — with free agent closer Francisco Rodriguez, with the New York Post reporting that a deal is “on the brink.”

Backing up these developments, Rodriguez’s agent, Paul Kinzer, told reporters, “[The negotiations] are going well…I am more optimistic that I’ve ever been…we will know more in the next 24 hours, but so far everything has been positive.”

In the three days he’s been in Las Vegas, Omar Minaya has met with teams and/or reps to discuss seemingly every potential closer on the market, including K-Rod, Brian Fuentes, Kerry Wood, Bobby Jenks, Trevor Hoffman, Chad Cordero, Huston Street, JJ Putz, BJ Ryan, HR Block and the guy who played Lamont on “Sanford and Son.”

At the same time, he has yet to meet with anyone that could fill the gaps in left or at second, and has made zero progress in unloading Luis Castillo to the first blind bidder.

And while Minaya has spent his entire trip courting arms needed to get three outs, players such as Jermaine Dye and Orlando Hudson have either found new homes, or are about to be offered deals elsewhere. It’s a long offseason, to be sure.  But a number of big names have come and gone while the Mets try to whittle down details on a contract for a closer.

And having the best closer in baseball means nothing if there is a lack of production and defense at two positions for the first eight innings of a game.

One irony — the K-Rod deal is expected to be worth at least $37 million — a huge sum for a closer, to be sure. But one that is approximately $3 million less than what the Mets gave to Billy Wagner in 2005.

The two sides will likely meet again on Tuesday, at which point, the team is expected to walk away with the offseason’s premier closer. Adding to this speculation is the fact that Rodriguez does not have any additional meetings set with other teams.

“I don’t want to say much about it,” Rodriguez told the Los Angeles Times, “But it’s going well with them.  Everything is going OK, so we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Yeah, what a mystery. I think we all know how this is going to play out.

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3 Responses to “Mets Close to Closer; Minaya Prays Gaping, Life-Sucking Holes “Just Go Away””
  1. Dave says:

    We are shit out of luck on trading Castillo! He’ll be our opening day starting 2B. With GREAT the signing of K-Rod our biggest hole is to find another SP.

  2. RollingWave says:

    because we all know that only closers blow games!

  3. Dave says:

    I’m not saying K-Rod is the whole answer. He had great setup guys in LA, now Minaya needs to get him and the Starters more middle relief.

    But having a league top 5 closer in the game sure will cut down on those 29 blown games in ’08.

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