6:39am: Matthew Cerrone at MetsBlog relays some info from Jon Heyman's appearance on WNBC in New York. Heyman agrees with Sherman that the Mets could look to spread their available funds around before turning to a big-name free agent.
6:27am: While the Mets plan to look at Matt Holliday and Jason Bay, and have high hopes that John Lackey's price will come down enough to entice him to accept a four-year offer, they also realize that's an unlikely scenario and are exploring other avenues. They're currently intrigued by Royals righty Gil Meche, according to Joel Sherman.
Meche has two years and $24MM left on his contract, which includes a limited no-trade clause. As we heard earlier tonight, the Royals are working to trim payroll in order to address some needs within their lineup. While Meche (when healthy) is an important part of their rotation, the $24MM owed to him could be better spent improving multiple areas of the team, especially in this economy.
Sherman says the Mets may explore moving Luis Castillo as part of a Meche deal, possibly taking back another bad contract such as Kyle Farnsworth or Juan Cruz if necessary. If it were to happen, Castillo's .387 OBP alone would be of benefit to a Royals team that was starved for OBP last season, posting a team mark of .318, tied for third-worst in baseball.
The Mets are concerned, however, about adding another injury risk to a rotation that already features such question marks as John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, and Oliver Perez. However, most free agent options lack elite talent and/or strong durability.
Meche seems like a solid target for the Mets, provided he's healthy. What sort of offers do you see being proposed by Omar Minaya?