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More Details on Mets-Rodriguez Deal

As Dave notes below, the Mets and Francisco Rodriguez are within one passed physical of finalizing the second big deal of the offseason (Cubs-Ryan Dempster has to qualify as the first). According to multiple sources (not least of all Dave himself directly below), the deal has three guaranteed years for a total value of $37 million, then a four year which is a vesting option of $14 million. It's a big deal, but not nearly as big as K-Rod and his agent, Paul Kinzer were aiming for; remember they openly advertised a goal of five-years, $75 million. Guess that didn't happen, did it?

Rodriguez and the Mets were always seen as a perfect fit, from the moment New York learned that incumbent closer Billy Wagner would miss all of 2009, the final year of his contract. In fact, the marriage between team and player seemed almost a foregone conclusion at the Winter Meetings after the team and closer had a four-hour dinner at a steakhouse the night before the meetings opened in Las Vegas ... with Mets owner Fred Wilpon in attendance.

Oh, and the Angels, K-Rod's former team? They didn't even get a chance to match the Mets' offer.

There are other intriguing subplots that come out of this move, though. As recently as yesterday, the Mets were said to be inquiring about the availability of recently acquired Rockies reliever Huston Street. We say "reliever" rather than "closer" because Colorado insists that Manny Corpas will take over as the team's closer, assuming that Brian Fuentes, the team's closer in recent seasons, signs somewhere else. That makes Street awful expendable, and the Mets had been interested.

Nothing about K-Rod's acquisition would prohibit that trade from still happening, with the Mets using Street as a set-up man, but they'd have to sell Street on the role. The Rockies were asking for a package of relievers -- Aaron Heilman and Pedro Feliciano -- for Street, which seems like a great deal to us. It didn't sound like a deal to Mets GM Omar Minaya, who walked away from it once. There won't be the pressure to make the deal now, but it would still be a huge upgrade for the Mets bullpen if they pulled the trigger.

This also starts the rest of the free agent closer market in carousel. Kerry Wood? He's said to be close to a deal with the Indians. Yup, your Cleveland Indians closer is about to be Kerry Wood, at least according to Yahoo!'s Gordon Edes, among others. No word yet from Fuentes' camp, which may wait to see where Wood signs and line up suitors from there. And if the Mets don't jump for that Street trade? Does the former A's closer stay in Colorado? Does someone else get in on the former College World Series MVP?

Lots of questions, so few answers. Hopefully more will come to the surface in the next couple of days.

By Cameron Smith  |  December 9, 2008; 5:59 PM ET
Categories:  Angels , Indians , Mets , Rockies  
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Next: Orioles' MacPhail: Hernandez Trade All About Wieters


Cameron - Good stuff! Any way we could coax Tracee into sending you over to NJ in a trade?

Posted by: BinM | December 9, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

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