It’s not quite as wild as Olbermann’s prediction that Sammy Sosa would get a phone call after Hideki Matsui went down, but the Yankees have turned their attention to another missing in action veteran writes Newsday’s Ken Davidoff and Jim Baumbach.

Desperate for outfield help, the Yankees have been talking with free agent Richard Hidalgo and plan to work him out shortly at their Tampa complex. “Richard is definitely intrigued,” Chris Leibel, one of Hidalgo’s representatives, said Friday.

Hidalgo, 30, signed a minor-league deal with the Orioles on Feb. 26 but spent just four days in camp before leaving to tend to his ill wife. He never returned, realizing that his chances of playing every day were not good, and was released March 7

Once regarded as a future star, former Met Hidalgo played in 88 games for the Rangers last season, hitting .221 with 16 homers and 43 RBIs. If the Yankees like what they see at the workout, they will sign Hidalgo to a minor-league contract and give him at-bats at Triple-A Columbus.

Jose Lima was designated for assignment by the Mets yesterday, the assignment in question being to go somewhere very, very far away. RHP Anderson Garcia was promoted from Norfolk, while Brian Bannister will head to extended spring training after an MRI showed no futher hamstring damage, following Thursday’s 5 pitch outing.

The Newark Star-Ledger’s Ed Price has an item this morning about the Mets and Yankees each showing interest in 16 year old catcher Francisco Pena, son of former Reds/Red Sox catcher (and Royals manager/lothario) Tony Pena.

WFAN’s Richard Neer (above) has taken at least two calls during his seemingly endless early morning program from Yankee fans who thought David Wright was a tad over zealous in his reaction to driving a Mariano Rivera pitch over Johnny Damon’s head last night. This seems like a rather trivial matter compared to Jorge Posada’s injury, Carl Pavano’s latest setback, the third baseman running his team out of a monster inning (or failing to execute a routine play in the field), their club flunking Rundown 101…or most alarming of all, the strong possibility that Neer has no home and has locked everyone else out of Astoria Studios.