From Newsday’s Ken Davidoff :

Unable to complete a deal for Tampa Bay’s Danys Baez, the Mets have turned West to fill their void for a setup man. According to officials from two major-league clubs, the Mets had all but finalized a trade to land Duaner Sanchez (above) from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In return for Sanchez, a 26-year-old righthander, the Mets will surrender righthander Jae Seo, the officials said. The trade will probably be announced by the end of this week.

Sanchez pitched in 79 games for the Dodgers in 2005, going 4-7 with a 3.73 ERA, walking 36 and striking out 71 in 82 innings. He throws a fastball that reaches about 95 mph on the radar gun, and he also displays a curveball, slider and changeup. He instantly becomes the Mets’ primary setup man to new closer Billy Wagner.

With two-plus years of service time, Sanchez is not yet eligible for arbitration, a further asset for the Mets, who would still take Boston’s ultra-expensive outfielder Manny Ramirez in the right deal.

In a far more chilling note, the Daily News’ Anthony McCarron notes that the Mets (along with the Rangers and Padres) are considering offering Bret Boone a minor league contract.

It’s unclear which would be the best scenario for Boone – the Rangers could go with 23-year-old rookie Ian Kinsley at second and they recently signed D’Angelo Jimenez to a minor-league contract. The Padres could use rookie Josh Barfield, the son of former Yankee Jesse, Mark Bellhorn or Bobby Hill. Published reports in St. Louis earlier this winter indicated that the Cardinals may have had early interest in Boone, too.

The Padres are on the brink of signing free agent LHP Shawn Estes to a one-year pact.