The Mets are a step closer to acquiring Oakland outfielder Eric Byrnes in exchange for Mike Cameron, according to a source familiar with the dialogue between the two teams. The deal may now include reliever Chad Bradford as a way to lighten Oakland’s financial concerns.
The A’s are eager to put Cameron in center field, but asked the Mets to assume a portion of his $6 million salary. The Mets countered Saturday by offering to take Bradford in the deal, as well. Doing so would lighten the A’s payroll by $3.4 million – effectively awarding them Cameron for a mere $2.4 million this year. The Mets would then use their $2.6 million savings toward signing Carlos Delgado.
Talks with the free agent first baseman are scheduled to resume this week, but not until the Mets have created economic breathing room.
Bradford, a submarining right-hander, was 5-7 with a 4.42 ERA last year. He was predictably more effective against right-handed hitters and didn’t allow a home run in his final 201/3 innings after the All-Star break.