Just heard from my Mets source, who’s out at Shea (not in Dallas). The Mets are apparently very interested in Barry Zito. Here are the details.
The Barry Zito deal is contingent on the Mets shedding Kris Benson first. The Mets want Mike MacDougal and a prospect for Benson, while the Royals only want to give Jeremy Affeldt. It’s not likely the Mets acquire both relievers.
The Mets have talked to the A’s about Zito, and Lastings Milledge will be included in any deal. Aaron Heilman is a possibility. My source is saying that the Mets will make the trade without an extension done, as long as there’s an understanding that it will happen. This gels with what Matthew Cerrone mentioned at MetsBlog today, that Zito would consider signing an extension. My source expects Zito to be moved by the weekend, assuming Benson gets done quickly.
My source’s info does not gel with what Peter Gammons told writer Joel Lipsky this morning at a Dallas gym. Gammons apparently said that if the A’s are to move Zito, "they must get a number three starter, at least, in return. Preferably a lefty." Given that Zito is a number three starter, I don’t see what team is going to meet that request.
UPDATE: My source is now telling me that the Mets weren’t offering enough for Zito. Omar stood fast, and Beane will continue to wait for that offer he can’t refuse. Also, look for Kaz Matsui to be dealt within the next couple of days, with the Mets possibly eating half his salary.