Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests, as Adam Rubin did earlier today, that the New York Mets may not be able to sign Matt Holliday or Jason Bay because of payroll restrictions. A Mets official tells Sherman that, if that is the case, the team's Plan B involves trying to "sprinkle power at a variety of positions" rather than adding one elite hitter.
One scenario Sherman outlines for the Mets is adding a catcher like Bengie Molina, an outfielder such as Jermaine Dye or Mark DeRosa, and then moving Luis Castillo to clear second base for someone with more power.
It sounds like the Giants and Mets will be the main competitors for Molina's services. The Giants would like to bring him back, and will look to spend more on their offense this winter, though a "team insider" says that Bay's and Holliday's price tags might be out of San Francisco's range as well.
In another article, Sherman writes that the St. Louis Cardinals don't anticipate Holliday signing anywhere until after Christmas. The team also fears that the New York Yankees could get involved in the bidding. If the Yankees were to retain Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon, as has been rumored, you'd have to think the Cardinals would like their chances of bringing back Holliday a lot more.
However, Damon apparently won't do the Yankees any favors by giving them a hometown discount. In one last article, Sherman outlines Scott Boras's case for Damon earning a long-term deal and big money.