Just got a tip I thought was worth mentioning. A frequent poster over at NY Fan Sites named Monte offered this rumor:
"The Mets are reportedly close on a deal that would bring Jeff Kent into the fold. Might be on hold until the winter meetings but very close to finished. No details on what they are dealing but it is something that has been worked on and actually got the Mets to back out of the Furcal chase so LA could finish the deal."
Now, I haven’t been able to establish Monte’s credibility; I haven’t been in touch with him. He is a very frequent poster over at NY Fan Sites, and supposedly was the first to name Ian Bladergroen as the prospect dealt for Doug Mientkiewicz back in January of this year.
My gut feeling is that Monte has a legitimate source and is not fabricating rumors for attention. While my Mets source didn’t have any such deal on his radar, it sounds plausible for the club. Kent certainly fits the win now mentality the Mets have been pushing all offseason. He’ll make $9MM in 2006 and will be a free agent after the season.
Monte and my own Mets sources are confident that Kaz Matsui will be moved somehow and that the Mets have no intention of starting the year with him at second. Given that the Dodgers plan on playing Cesar Izturis at second base with Rafael Furcal in the fold, Kent is either due for a trade or a move to first. Kent has played 105 games in his career at first base, but never more than 30 in a season.
It remains to be seen how the next Dodger manager will feel about first baseman Hee Seop Choi. Choi is only 26, and has too much potential to be relegated to a bench role. While Choi has struggled against southpaws, he’s had very little opportunity to hit against them regularly. If Kent does stay put, look for DePodesta favorite Choi to be on the move. Choi could certainly be a step towards a younger Giants club.
Thanks to T.J.