Here’s my story in today’s Journal News.
December0407: Tuesday, Mets
The Journal News
NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ Until the Johan Santana logjam breaks, the trade waters could be stagnant for the rest of the Winter Meetings.
The teams with high profile trade options _ BaltimoreÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Erik Bedard and OaklandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Dan Haren _ are waiting to see what happens with Santana.
“People are waiting to see where the chips will fall,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ said Mets general manager Omar Minaya.
Even should Santana be traded today or tomorrow, there would still be a 72-hour window in which to sign him and the subsequent physical taking process, which would put things on hold until next week.
That doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mean the Mets are sitting for the Santana press conference before talking, evidenced by Minaya speaking yesterday with Baltimore and Oakland.
“We did make some progress,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Minaya said. “Of course, progress can be just having dialog.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
Baltimore wants to explore the Bedard market, but the MetsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ reported offer of outfielder Carlos Gomez, and pitchers Phil Humber and Aaron Heilman isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t enough to get it done.
And, with MinayaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s theory, the Orioles would be foolish to jump at it when they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what the loser of the Santana Sweepstakes is willing to offer.
The Mets were never in it for Santana, instead thinking about Bedard and OaklandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s duo of Haren and Joe Blanton.
The Mets negotiated with Athletics general manager Billy Beane last season for Haren, Blanton and Rich Harden, but Minaya wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t part with various packages that included Mike Pelfrey, Humber, Heilman and Lastings Milledge.
Milledge is gone, but the other three remain, who, along with pitcher Kevin Mulvey and outfielder Fernando Martinez, are on the radar of teams talking with the Mets.
However, the MetsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ prospects arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t on a par with that of the Yankees, should they opt to trade with Oakland for Haren instead of division opponent Baltimore.
The division angle might be what works in the MetsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ favor should they sweeten the Bedard pot.
Even so, Minaya would rather write a check.
“I would rather get a free agent,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Minaya said. “But, if thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not to be, you have to ask the question: Do I want to pay that much?Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
Reports from the West Coast have the Mets more interested in Blanton that Haren because he might cost fewer prospects, but Minaya wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t confirm.
The Mets are also speaking with the representatives for Livan Hernandez, who won 11 games and threw 200 innings last season for Arizona and would essentially amount as a wash to losing Tom Glavine.