10:16am: Even though the Reds claimed Takahashi, he cannot play for the Mets before May 15th if he signs with New York, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter). In other words, don't expect him to return to the Mets.
8:07am: The Reds claimed Hisanori Takahashi on unconditional release waivers last week, according to transactions summaries at CBS Sports and Yahoo Sports. A source confirmed to MLBTR that the Reds claimed the left-hander. Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports that the Reds claimed Takahashi to obtain an exclusive five-day negotiating window with him.
Takahashi was set to hit free agency, but the Reds' move won't prevent him from hitting the open market. Players claimed on unconditional release waivers have five days to reject the claim and elect free agency and Takahashi elected free agency, according to Rubin.
It's unclear whether the move will help the Mets, who were negotiating an extension with Takahashi earlier in the month. Because the Mets didn’t sign Takahashi in time, it appeared that he would not be able to pitch before May 15th if he re-signed in New York. Takahashi's last club was the Reds, which could allow the Mets to re-sign him.